News & Insights

Modern & Contemporary Art Sale Preview

28th May 2019.

Tennants Auctioneers’ Modern & Contemporary Art Sale on 22nd June is set to include a strong offering of Modern British Art, from the likes of Mary Fedden, Sir Kyffin Williams, Edward Ardizzone, and Edith Lawrence.

One of the top lots of the sale is ‘Gwastadnant’ by Sir Kyffin Williams, R.A. (Estimate: £5,000-8,000 plus buyer’s premium). One of several paintings of the hamlet in Caernarfonshire by the Welsh artist, it was exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1993. Williams is celebrated for his depictions of the Welsh landscape, which he captured using bold strokes in a subdued colour palette of black, greys, browns and olive greens.

‘Fruit’ by Mary Fedden, a later work by the artist of 2009, is entered with an estimate of £4,000-6,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Fedden gained considerable recognition for her simple, emblematic still lives after the death of her husband and fellow artist Julian Trevelyan.

A group of five watercolour and ink drawings by Edward Ardizzone (1900-1979) are entered with estimates ranging from £1,000 to £3,000 (plus buyer’s premium). One of the finest illustrators of the 20th Century, Ardizzone is known for his charming paintings, book illustrations and his work as a war artist from 1940-45. His work is warm, witty and based on observations of the everyday life that surrounded him. Indeed, even his war work was praised for showing a more human side; he captured scenes of quiet heroics, and everyday life in wartime. Ardizzone populated his pictures with instantly recognisable and relatable figures, and he had a keen eye for human interactions which he translated to paper with great humour.

Northern Art has a strong presence in the sale, with an important oil painting by mining artist Norman Cornish. ‘Street Scene with Tanky Engine’ depicts children playing in the snow in Bishops’ Close Street, Spennymoor – the street in which Cornish grew up and started his married life. Estimated at £10,000-15,000 (plus buyer’s premium), the painting comes with provenance from the artist’s family.

A group of Grosvenor School lino prints are also on offer, with provenance from the Estate of Edith Lawrence. Capturing the vitality and rapid mechanisation of life between the wars, the vibrant and graphic works of the Grosvenor School have become much in demand in recent years. Of note is ‘Cricket’ by Edith Lawrence, on offer with an estimate of £2,500-4,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and ‘The Quartette’ by the rare and collectable Australian artist Dorrit Black (estimate: £3,000-5,000 plus buyer’s premium).

Also included in the sale are works by Terry Frost, Sydney Harpley, Peter Brook, Sally Arnup, Brian ‘Braaq’ Shields, Geoffrey Key, Edgar Hubert, Michael Craig-Martin, Pamela J Crook and Leon Morocco.

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