Paintings from the estate of Ilkley artist Marie Walker Last up for auction

Tennants Auctioneers’ Modern & Contemporary Art Sale on 24th February is set to include a further instalment of the Estate of Ilkley artist Marie Walker Last (1917-2017). The collection comprises paintings by Walker Last herself from throughout her career as well as paintings by her contemporaries such as Canadian artist William John Bertram Newcombe (1907-1969).

Throughout her long career, Marie Walker Last experimented widely with different movements and styles, but her diverse work is unified by a common emotional response to the landscape around her. During a childhood in Scholes, West Yorkshire, Marie showed an early inclination towards art encouraged by her father, a successful textiles manufacturer and keen art enthusiast. After a spell in the Land Army during the Second World War, Marie’s early interests leant towards capturing the landscape of West Yorkshire.

In 1956 Marie was accepted into the Chelsea School of Art, where she produced bold abstract work often inspired by her interest in the Universe and space exploration. Whilst in London, Marie threw herself into the vibrant art scene, before she married lawyer Tom Last in 1961 and moved to his home town of Ilkley, where she established a studio in nearby Menston. Here she gravitated back to her early fascination with the Yorkshire landscape, which once more became a strong focus for her work. Marie exhibited both locally and nationally, with her first major retrospective held at Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax in 1991.

The sale includes a variety of examples spanning her Walker Last’s career, including a late work from 1992 entitled ‘Winter Quarry’, estimated at £250-400 (plus 24% buyer’s premium), and ‘Unrestricted’ (1959), a mixed medium canvas by William John Bertram Newcombe estimated at £150-200 (plus 24% buyer’s premium).

Further works from the Estate of Marie Walker Last will be sold in the Modern & Contemporary Art Sale on 2nd June.

Tennant’s Modern Interiors Sale will taking place alongside the Modern & Contemporary Art Sale on 24th February. Both sales will be open for public viewing on 22nd and 23rd February.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be available on our website leading up to the sale.

(top left) ‘Winter Quarry’, Marie Walker Last – Estimate: £250-400