News & Insights

Modern & Contemporary Prints

20th November 2020.

Tennants tri-annual Modern and Contemporary Art Sales have become a tour de force for prints in recent years. The sales are led by Specialist Francesca Young who is passionate about Modern and Contemporary Prints, having worked in Sotheby’s Print Department for four years.

With a well-earned reputation for handling Northern Art, Tennants is the leading auction house for the sale of limited-edition prints after L.S. Lowry.  Indeed, they hold the world record price for a Lowry print, achieving a hammer price of £25,000 plus buyer’s premium in February 2020 for his most collectable and sought-after print “Going to the Match”.  The market for Lowry prints is holding strong, with thirteen examples in the October 2020 Modern and Contemporary Art Sale all selling confidently.

The same sale saw Francis Bacon’s 1989 lithograph “Second Version, Triptych” sell for £17,000 plus buyer’s premium. Much interest was seen, too, for the ‘Drawn Blank’ series of prints after Bob Dylan; the seven lots on offer doubled their top estimate to sell for a combined hammer price of £9,700 plus buyer’s premium.

The Modern and Contemporary Art department has had the privilege of looking after the Estate of Edith Lawrence of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art. Over the last few years Tennants have sold many works from the Estate by both Lawrence herself and by leading Grosvenor School artists such as Dorrit Black and Lill Tschudi. In 2016 Tennants set the world record price for an Edith Lawrence linocut with the sale of “The Cricket Match” for £8,500 plus buyer’s premium.  Interest in the Grosvenor School artists has risen in recent years, and they were the subject of a major exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2019.

The department was also fortunate to look after the Estate of Bradford-born artist Karl Torok and sell his collection of Modern prints, which included many works by Patrick Caulfield as well as examples by Tom Wesselmann, Edward Ruscha and Jim Dine.

Tennants Modern and Contemporary Art Sales regularly include prints by leading British artists such as John Piper, Ben Nicholson, Robin Tanner, Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, Dame Elizabeth Frink, Norman Ackroyd, Sir Terry Frost, David Hockney, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Anthony Gormley and Banksy amongst others.

Entries are now invited for the next Modern and Contemporary Art Sale on 6th March 2021, for which two lithographs by William Scott have already been consigned.


Contact Francesca Young

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