€1.2 MILLION FOR AUCTION IN WHYTE’S IRISH AND INTERNATIONAL ART SALE
Whyte’s auction of Irish & International Art at 6pm, Monday 16 September 2019 at the RDS will offer collectors another opportunity to acquire key pieces in the first sale of the season. This auction boasts many of the premier names in Irish art including Jack Yeats, Louis le Brocquy, May Guinness, Daniel O’Neill, Nathaniel Hone, Basil Blackshaw along with international artists such as Andy Warhol and Raoul Dufy. This sale also includes The Butler Gallery Benefit Auction of Contemporary Art. Whyte’s invites bidders to view the sale at www.whytes.ie and in person at the RDS, Dublin Saturday through to Monday (day of the sale) 14 to 16 September, 10am-6pm daily.
JACK BUTLER YEATS
The top lot by price is the 1946 oil by Jack B. Yeats, Hope [Lot 28, €150,000-€180,000, illustrated]. It depicts an intriguing night-time scene. A small boat in the middle of the ocean is being guided by a figure, who stands in the prow, holding an oar aloft. His face is formed out of thick strokes of yellow-white paint making it appear disfigured in the reflected light. Behind him, a young woman is seated in the boat. The passive female figure is intended to be allegorical, perhaps evoking the idea of courage and faith in humanity. The details are deliberately unclear, forcing the viewer to engage physically with the work, in order to make sense of its elements. It is presented in its original hand-carved Waddington frame and has been in a private collection for the past twenty years. A selection of Jack B. Yeats drawings are also on offer including the delightful ink and watercolour titled St. John's Eve Bonfire Night, guiding at €8,000-€10,000 as lot 27.
LOUIS LE BROCQUY
Louis le Brocquy’s Image of Samuel Beckett, 1980 [Lot 65, €100,000-€150,000, illustrated left] was first shown at the Rosc ’80 exhibition and illustrated soon after in the monograph by Dorothy Walker, Louis le Brocquy, published in 1981. Le Brocquy’s ‘Head’ series evolved into portraits of influential creative practitioners. Some of these were known to the artist only through their work, like Shakespeare, while there were other senior figures that he had met in his youth, like WB Yeats. However, others were known to him personally and became friends and project collaborators, as was the case with Samuel Beckett. This powerful oil deserves to be viewed ‘in the flesh’ to be fully appreciated. A later oil, Fruit, 1992 (601) [Lot 64, €35,000-€45,000, illustrated below] is also on offer.
In contrast to le Brocquy’s early still lifes of lemons, where the subject is isolated against a white background, his later studies of fruit of brimming with life and bubbling with colour. An offering of the ever-popular Táin prints [Lots 69-72] will guide €1,500-€2,000 each while an impressive tapestry from the same series, Cúchulainn Mounting His Chariot, 1969 [Lot 68, €20,000-€30,000] is sure to catch the eye.
A NEGLECTED CUBIST
May Guinness was part of a vangaurd of Irish moderninsts that included Eileen Gray and Mary Swanzy, and at the age of 59 studied under leading Cubist master André Lhote, overlapping with Mainie Jellett and Evie Hone who sniffed at the older artist that her images were too ‘naturalistic’. Woman With Red Hair [Lot 48, €6,000-€8,000] certainly dates from her time with Lhote and compares favourably to her best known painting ‘Two Irish Girls’. It could be said that this is the ‘most Cubist’ of Guinness’s paintings. As Séan Kissane writes in the catalogue note, “May Guinness can be classified as a neglected Irish artist but paintings like this show that she was capable of first rate work and deserving of further study”.
From the same private collection, Father Jack Hanlon, Sunday Lunch [Lot 49, €6,000-€8000] also shows the artist at his best. In a 1964 interview, given to the Irish Independent, the artist stated "I like anything that will give colour". His use of red, yellow, blue, green and brown, combined with various shapes and forms - squares, rectangles, circles and striped patterns give life to this exceptional work.
The first 3 lots in the auction comprise of watercolours by the famous entertainer and artist William Percy French. There will be particular interest in the seashore scene Bray Head From Killiney Bay, 1909 [Lot 3, €2,500-€3,500] while a large important painting by Nathaniel Hone, Herdsman and Cows on a Country Road, Glenmalure, County Wicklow [Lot 18, €15,000-€20,000, illustrated below] makes an impressive impact.
Charlotte Katherine MacCausland was born in Dublin in 1860. She moved to England in the 1880s, and exhibited several pictures at the Royal Academy (1886-1904) as well as at the R.B.A., the R.O.I., and other institutions. She moved to Paris in the mid 1880s, and studied with various artists including Carolus-Duran, and Henner, as well as at the Academie Julian with Robert-Fleury, Lefebvre and Boulanger. MacCausland exhibited at the Societé des Artistes Françaises, 1886-89, the Societé National des Beaux-Arts, 1896-99, and at the Salon des Independents, 1905-12. The majority of her exhibits were depictions of young women, similar to the work on offer here, Young Girl Darning, 1887 [lot 21, €8,000-€10,000, illustrated below]. Several of McCausland's paintings are in municipal and private collections in Grez and elsewhere in Brittany and although not widely known in Ireland, she is one of the more talented of Ireland's emigré artists of the 19th century.
Raoul Dufy was a French artist and designer whose paintings and prints portrayed leisure activities and urban landscapes. A Park Corner [Lot 47, €20,000-€30,000, illustrated below] displays the artist's breezy yet experimental use of color which was influenced both by Claude Monet and his Fauvist peer Henri Matisse. It is typical of his work in that he creates airy washes of light and shade, into which he draws bold calligraphic brushstrokes. The painting has an interesting provenance having been purchased in Paris in 1963 by Charles Bewley, a relation of the ‘Bewley’s café’ family. He was the "Irish Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary" in Berlin in the crucial years from 1933 to 1939 before moving to Italy. Andy Warhol’s Space Fruit: Cantaloupes I 201, 1979 [Lot 80, €10,000-€15,000] marks a shift in Warhol's interests from the commercial images of the 1960s to art historical subjects. These prints demonstrate Warhol’s experimentation with the classical tradition of the still life.
WATCH OUT FOR…
An oil by Colin Middleton, Woman with Birds [lot 73, €20,000-€30,000, below], possibly the last version of a subject that was central to Colin Middleton throughout his career.
A bright example by George Russell (Æ) is on offer while a striking painting by Basil Blackshaw, Tree [Lot 99, €15,000-€20,000] was modestly explained by the artist in 2008 as such: ‘there is nothing to say about this work other than it is a good
painting’. Sean Scully aficionados will be chasing lot 77 [Desire, 1985 €1,500-€2,000, illustrated] while fans of William Scott will find two examples from the artist’s sketchbook up for grabs. Tony O’Malley, Felim Egan, Brian Maguire, Michael Kane, Kenneth Webb and Cecil Maguire are among some of the other striking modern examples in the sale, while there are some wonderful works available from Irish sculptors John Behan, Anthony Scott and Rory Breslin.
All the artworks are on display with full descriptions and several with insightful notes from art experts at www.whytes.ieThis fabulous auction will be on view at the RDS, Anglesea Road entrance, Ballsbridge, Saturday to Monday, 14 to 16 September,
10am to 6pm daily; admission and parking is free. The auction will be broadcast live on the internet at bid.whytes.ie, invaluable.com, auctionzip.com, encheres.lefigaro.fr; collectors around the world can bid live from their computers, smart TV’s, mobile phones or android devices. Whyte’s are the only Irish auction house that offer this service free of extra fees.
Enquiries to Peter Whyte at 01 676 2888 or firstname.lastname@example.org. High resolution images in TIFF or JPG formats available on request to Matthew Slack email@example.com or +353 1 676 2888.