Ewbank's To Offer Single-owner Collection Of Contemporary Art
Contempory Art Collection Expected To Raise £10,000 In September 19-21 Fine Art Auction
A single-owner collection of modern art featuring works by leading contemporary artists such as Mary Fedden, Patrick Heron and Sir Terry Frost is a highlight of the three-day important Autumn sale of fine art and antiques at premier Surrey auctioneers Ewbank's. The collection is expected to raise a total of more than £10,000 in the sale on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday September 19-21.
Sent for sale by the executors of a deceased Kent estate, the collection was formed over the recent years, the collector acquiring works from major London galleries such as White Space, David Messum, Art First and the New Grafton Gallery. Ewbank's auction presents an opportunity to purchase authenticated works by leading artists at highly competitive saleroom prices.
Mary Fedden OBE, who died in June this year aged 96, was one of Britain's most sought-after painters of still lives. She studied at the Slade School of Art and was the first woman to teach painting at the Royal College of Art. She was President of the Royal West of England Academy from 1984-1988 and was elected a Royal Academician in 1992. A noted mural painter, her work was commissioned for the Festival of Britain in 1951 and for Charing Cross Hospital. Full recognition for her work came late in her life, having been overshadowed by her husband, the surrealist Julian Trevelyan, although her eventual fame left her unimpressed.
She is represented in the sale by two works, both done on Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly. An oil on board titled "The Abbey", signed and dated '04, is estimated at £500-800, while a still life of fruit in a bowl set against a vivid blue sea and islands in the background is estimated at £300-400. The limited edition lithograph, number 55 of 95, is signed in pencil.
Patrick Heron (1920-1999) is represented by an untitled screen print on linen, which was purchased by the owner from the Belgrave Gallery in St Ives. It is estimated at £400-600, while another screen print titled "Mini Mini 21" from September 1972, signed in pencil, is estimated at £300-500.
Leeds-born former textile designer Heron lived in Cornwall and studied at the Slade. He was a conscientious objector during the Second World War, working on a farm before becoming an assistant to the potter Bernard Leach in St Ives. He also worked as an art critic for the New Statesman magazine. From the mid-1950s, he turned to abstract art, producing works with "lozenges" of bright, vibrant colours.
The single work in the collection by Sir Terry Frost (1915-2003) is another abstract screen print in green, black and yellow, signed and sated in pencil '02. From a limited edition numbered 54 of 75, it is estimated at £500-800.
Frost was born in Leamington Spa, Worcestershire, first taking up painting as a prisoner of war having been captured in the invasion of Crete in 1941. On returning to England he received an ex-serviceman's grant and attended Camberwell School of Art. He subsequently taught at the Bath Academy of Art from 1952, and was the Gregory Fellow at Leeds University 1954 to 1956, teaching at Leeds School of Art from 1956 to 1957. He was Artist in Residence at Newcastle University in 1964 and went on to become Professor of Painting at the University of Reading from 1977 to 1981. He was elected Royal Academician 1992 and received his knighthood in 1998.
Also worthy of mention is an atmospheric landscape by Henry Watson (1871-1936) which was one of the few pictures in the collection not acquired from a dealer. Rather, it was purchased by the collector from the London auction sale of the artist's studio in 1994. The oil on board by the well known Scarborough-born landscapist who exhibited at the RA from 1896 is estimated at £400-600.
Lesser works in the collection carry highly affordable estimates starting as low as £30-50 for pictures such as Jason Lilley's oil and pencil on board, done in St Ives in 2005 and titled "Ochre Blue".
Among a number of contemporary works from other owners is a one by Francis Bacon (1909-1928) one of the most famous painters of the 20th century, formerly from the collection of the artist's dealer and confidante, Valerie Beston. She gave the portrait print from the Derrière le Miroir series to a member of the family of one of the packers at the Battersea shipping and storage company which she employed to transport fine art to exhibitions around the country.
Devoted exclusively to contemporary graphic work of artists represented by the Paris gallery run by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, the periodical Derrière le Miroir was a publishing venture which served as an exhibition catalogue and a forum to distribute prints of original graphic works. Issue 162 was published in 1966 to coincide with Bacon's exhibition and the present image illustrated the front cover. Number six from an edition of 350, the print dates from 1966 and is typical of Bacon's graphic and emotionally raw imagery. It is estimated at £800-1,200.
The contemporary art will be on view alongside other fine art and antiques sale on Saturday September 15 from 10am-2pm; Monday September 17, 10am-5pm; Tuesday September 18, 10am-8pm and on the mornings of the sale from 9.30-10. For further information, please contact the auctioneer on 01483 223101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.