While some commentators are better acquainted with Camille Souter’s paintings of landscapes and still-lives, she has made numerous paintings of the human form in every decade of her career. They are ...Read more
While some commentators are better acquainted with Camille Souter’s paintings of landscapes and still-lives, she has made numerous paintings of the human form in every decade of her career. They are usually very intimate and rarely populated by more than two figures. In the mid 1950s, when she had barely enough money to survive, drawing conventional portraits of locals in a Melegnano trattoria even provided Souter’s ‘bread and butter’. From 1955 through to the late 1960s she produced numerous paintings of clowns and circus scenes. Under the influence of artists like Klee and Miró, these early depictions of the figure were almost like pared down signs or ‘match stick’ men (or women). However, over the course of the 1960s her style gradually became less abstracted. In 1966 she attended a ground-breaking exhibition of Pierre Bonnard’s work at the Royal Academy in London which may also have pushed her further in the direction of a more soft-edged, impressionistic approach to form.
The Knockout is one of a series of paintings to do with boxers that the artist produced during the 1970s. It may also be viewed in the broader context of her interest in sport. She also painted sports fields and depictions of footballers during the World Cup during the same decade. There may be another angle to it as well. Sport is intimately connected with violence and has been since people began to wrestle or watch gladiators in the Colosseum for entertainment. Modern sport is not expected to result in death but it continues to involve a physical contest between opposing individuals or nations. The Knockout presents the viewer with intimate close-ups of figures that have been beaten senseless. They lay awkwardly where they fell. The paint is quite thinly applied in places and the slightly blurred treatment of the forms gives each panel a dazed or dream-like quality. The figures could almost be the casualties of a war, a subject the artist would directly address a decade later. In some respects, they are also reminiscent of her fish series (c.1975-76), in which the immobile, sometimes bloody, creatures are laid out against a spare almost monochromatic background. One empathises with the vanquished, as though one were partly responsible for their fate and, as a spectator, perhaps one is.
With rare exceptions, Camille Souter’s paintings are inspired by something directly experienced. She would never, for example, work from a photograph as many young painters do today. She has, on occasion, used memories of fleeting images viewed through the medium of television and stories heard over the radio to inform her imagination however. This is the case with The Knockout. In a letter to the author, the artist once wrote ‘Some time I must go to a boxing match – glimpses on TV so rapid – stupid, they would be the same in reality, but more atmosphere, etc. Though I think the most exciting on radio 1930/40s times, my father loved listening to them. As has often been said, the pictures are better on the radio.’
- Auction Details
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(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.
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% up to and including €3 million, and 13.5% of that part of the hammer price over €3 million. The Buyer's Premium is added to the hammer price of all lots and is subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.
(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.
WHAT IS A TIMED AUCTION?
Timed auctions do not have an auctioneer calling the bids – there’s just a bidding time frame and whoever bids highest during the time frame wins. Each lot can be bid on for a defined time period. At the end of this period, the bidder who has submitted the highest bid wins the lot, provided the bid exceeds the reserve price. You tell us the most you’re willing to pay – and we’ll bid intelligently for you, only bidding enough for you to meet the reserve or stay in the lead. Don’t worry, your maximum bid is not disclosed, and is held in confidence on our bidding system.
WHEN ONLINE BIDDING STARTS – FROM 10AM ON 1 DECEMBER TO 13 DECEMBER (ENDING 6pm-10pm approximately) - YOU CAN LEAVE BIDS and your bid will start at one step above the previous bid or at the start price if no other bid. You will be notified by email if you get outbid before the auction starts.
ONCE THE AUCTION BEGINS TO FINISH ON 13 DECEMBER EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS CEASE and you should follow the auction on-line to see how your bids are doing. Make sure you have logged in if you wish to bid.
WHEN THE AUCTION BEGINS TO FINISH ON 13 DECEMBER the bidding for each lot remains open for 45 seconds at a start price determined by the reserve or bids already received. Each lot will be open and remain open for bidding until its end time is reached; the end time will be extended by 60 seconds if another bid is received. At the end time, if there are no further bids and the highest bid received equals or exceeds the re serve price the lot is sold to highest bidder.
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• The minimum bid required to beat the highest bid will also be shown.
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• The live auction will begin at 6pm on Monday 29 November and will be sold in lot number order by the auctioneer.
• Invoices will be issued to successful bidders on Tuesday 30 November.
NOTE: For telephone and absentee bids email to email@example.com or telephone 01 6762888 or post to Whyte’s, 38 Molesworth Street, Dublin D02 KF80
Up to €300 x€10
Up to €700 x €20
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Up to €13,000 x €500
Up to €30,000 x €1,000
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Up to €130,000 x €5,000
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A FEW TIPS FOR ABSENTEE BIDDERS:
Bid the maximum price you would pay for the lot; we will try and secure the lot for you at the lowest possible price. For instance if you bid €2,000 on a lot and the highest other bid we receive is €1,200 you get it for €1,250. Most people tend to bid in round numbers, e.g. €500. It’s often a good idea to bid an odd number, e.g. €520, or €540 which will outbid an even number. Check the results the day after the sale: these are published on our website www.whytes.ie at about 10am on the day after the sale. Successful bidders are also notified of results by mail.
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TIE BIDS: if two or more equal bids are received the lot will be sold to the first received.