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Modern & Contemporary Art Preview July 2020

16th July 2020.

The Modern & Contemporary Art Sale at Tennants Auctioneers includes a fine selection of Modern British Art and Northern Art, with the likes of Mary Fedden, Bridget Riley, Norman Cornish, Joash Woodrow and Brian ‘Braaq’ Shields represented. The sale will run as a timed online auction, which will be open for bidding from 29th July to 6th August.

Mary Fedden (1915-2012) is highly regarded for her bold, simplistic still lifes and landscapes executed in vibrant colours. Three examples of her work are on offer in this sale: ‘David’s Lilies’ (estimate: £10,000-15,000 plus buyer’s premium), ‘Summer Table’ (estimate: £2,500-4,000), and ‘Woman and Baby’ (£1,500-2,500).

Northern Art goes from strength to strength at Tennants and this sale offers two works by Brian Shields ‘Braaq’, who is known for his paintings of industrial scenes in Northern Britain and is one of the most successful of the artists inspired by L.S. Lowry and his matchstick men. ‘Snow Scene Before a Pub’ is estimated at £7,000-10,000 and ‘Snow Scene with Figures Before a Church’ is estimated at £6,000-8,000.  An example of Norman Cornish’s iconic ‘Man at a Bar’ scenes is also up for auction; the charcoal drawing is offered with an estimate of £3,000-5,000.

The sale will also include a Collection of Works belonging to Reverend Dr Richard Davey, which comprises Modern British and Contemporary Religious Art. Richard Davey is an Anglican Chaplain and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, whose research focuses on the depiction of faith in art. Notable items in the collection include ‘Crucifixion of Christ’ by Francis Newton Souza (estimate: £4,000-6,000), ‘Crucifixion V’ by Stephen Cox (estimate: £1,000-1,500), and ‘Crucifixion’ by Graham Sutherland (estimate: £400-600).

Of interest too, is a Private Collection of Textile Designs. Following years of austerity in the wake of the Second World War, the textile manufacturers around the world sought to reinvigorate the industry by recruiting artists to produce new patterns and make cutting edge design available for all. These designs are seeing a surge of interest at present, and the collection now on offer includes Keith Vaughan’s ‘The Fishermen’ for Edinburgh Weavers (estimate: £500-800), Fernand Léger’s ‘Parade Sauvage’ for Fuller Fabrics USA (estimate: £400-600), Frank Lloyd-Wright’s "Taliesin Line No.102" (1955) for Schumacher & Co, USA (estimate: £300-500) and Henry Moore’s "Triangles and Lines" (1954) for David Whitehead (estimate: £300-500).

The sale will also include a further instalment of Animal Bronzes from the Estate of Sally Arnup, and a selection of photographs by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Thurston Hopkins, and North East social realist photographer Graham Smith.

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