In Cottage, St Martins, 1972 (lot 66) a figurative work, O'Malley explores the possibilities of French modernism. In Jerpoint, 1977 (lot 68) O'Malley's palette is strong and dark and his shapes highly stylised. This dynamic works well as a response to the Abbey's carved figures eroded over time. The energy of the contours suggests the vital imaginative presence to the artist of these figures from the past.
The McClelland collection included some experimental works by O'Malley. The tactile quality of the wool in the tapestries communicates a different but interesting atmosphere to the paintings. October and Black, 1983 (lot 60), woven by Terry Dunne in Wexford, is in fact a very blue work, the intensity of the royal blue recalling stained glass. It attests to O'Malley's abiding interest in the medieval.
The superb Night Painter, 1981 (lot 57) is in the tradition of the tall, rectangular works on board in which the artist explores the interior/exterior. Strong, irregular shapes provide the framework for the textured treatment of the surface. Verdigris greens billow around the predominant slate grey rectangle which signifies night. Incised marks reflect the resistance of the board and allow the paint to achieve a variety of effects. Abstracted in form, a small white curtain is tentatively anchored by a red spot. Perhaps there is a suggestion of a tiny self-portrait in one of the richly patterned, rhythmic panels below.
Travelling to the Bahamas by plane made canvas the easiest support to manage. A sense of lightness and loveliness characterises Morning Light II, Paradise Island, Bahamas, 1982 (the present lot, 53) a painting at once abstract and based in the real world. In this serene and luminous work, the artist risks using the softest of colours; baby blue and pinks and lemony yellows. He characteristically divides the painting with a central linear spine, creating an open book or butterfly on the wing format. Space on the left is more recessive and still than on the right, where brushstrokes on the blue suggest a flurry of bird life. A feeling of reverence and joy is expressed.
Intimate and reflective, many of these works by O'Malley from the Mc Clelland collection are of museum quality.
1 The Hunter Gatherer - The Collection of George and Maura McClelland, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2004
- Auction Details
Whyte’s autumn auction of Irish & International Art on 26 September included a wonderful array from the Estate of George & Maura McClelland [Lots 1-78]. The collection included some of the finest examples from the oeuvres of Gerard Dillon, Tony O’Malley, Louis le Brocquy, F.E. McWilliam, Colin Middleton, William Conor, Frank McKelvey, William Leech and many others. 170 works donated from the McClelland’s now form part of IMMA’s permanent collection. The balance of the sale [a further 102 lots] includes several other major works by Ireland’s best-known artists including Jack B Yeats, Paul Henry, Walter Osborne, Dan O'Neill and Harry Kernoff.
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(b) All lots are sold with all faults and imperfections and errors of description and the Auctioneer and its employees, servants or agents shall not be responsible for any error of description or for the condition or authenticity of any lot, save for Clause 5 (c) below. Written or verbal condition reports may be supplied by the Auctioneer on request but these are merely statements of opinion, and any error or omission in these reports may not be taken as grounds for a cancellation of sale or refund of any part of the purchase price or the cost of any repairs to the lot or lots reported on
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(d) Where a lot has been submitted to expertisation, all costs of such expertisation shall be paid by the person who retains the certificate of expertisation and item or items to which the certificate relates.
(e) Where the purchaser of a lot discharges the onus and acts in accordance with sub-clause (b) of this clause, the auctioneer shall rescind the sale and repay to the purchaser the purchase money paid by him in respect of the lot.
(f) No lot shall be rejected if, subsequent to the sale, it has been marked by an expert committee or treated by any other process unless the auctioneer's permission to subject the lot to such treatment has first been obtained in writing.
(g) Any lot listed as a "collection, range, portfolio etc." or stated to comprise or contain a collection or range of items which are not described shall be put up for sale not subject to rejection and shall be taken by the purchaser with all (if any) faults, lack of genuineness and errors of description and numbers of items in the lot, and the purchaser shall have no right to reject the lot; except that, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this sub-clause, where before a sale a person intending to bid at the sale gives notice in writing to, and satisfies the auctioneer that any such lot contains any item or items undescribed in the sale catalogue and that person specifically describes that item or those items in that notice, then that item or those items shall, as between the auctioneer and that person, to be taken to form part of the description of the lot. Clause 6 The respective rights and obligations of the parties shall be governed and interpreted by Irish law, and the buyer hereby submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish Courts.
a) The buyer shall pay the Auctioneer a commission at the rate of 20% of the purchase price (which excludes VAT at the prevailing rate under The Margin Scheme and which is not reclaimable). There is no extra charge to on-line buyers on Whyte’s platform – bid.whytes.ie. However bidders on other platforms shall pay an extra commission of 3% to 5% (plus VAT) to cover the charge made by the on-line bidding provider.
(b) The Auctioneer or its employees, servants or agents may, on request organise packing and shipping of lots purchased or may order on the buyer's behalf third parties to pack or ship purchases. Under no circumstances does the Auctioneer accept any liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever occasioned in the course of such service.
(c) The buyer authorises the Auctioneer to use any photographs or illustrations of any lot purchased for any or all purposes as the Auctioneer may require. The placing of a bid will be taken as full agreement to all the above conditions.
WHYTE AND SONS AUCTIONEERS LIMITED, 2018.
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