Tennants’ Modern and Contemporary Art Sales are always a source of good Northern Art, and the sale on 2nd March is no exception. With works by L S Lowry, Brian Shields ‘Braaq’, Joash Woodrow, Mackenzie Thorpe and Steven Scholes amongst others.
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Amongst lots to look out for is a powerful bronze by York sculptor Sally Arnup. ‘Lioness Walking’ was made in 1969 and is one of a limited edition of ten. At 46cm high, the lioness is an imposing yet graceful example of the artist’s work. Sally Arnup (1930-2015) was one of the finest figurative bronze sculptors of her age and had a well-earned reputation both nationally and internationally. Born in London, she began to train at Kingston Art College at the tender age of 13. Going on to spend a year at Camberwell College of Art, and then moving to the Royal College of Art she was taught by the likes of John Skeaping, Frank Dobson and Dr Karel Vogel. After marring fellow artist Mick Arnup in 1953, the couple settled in York, where she was to become the head of sculpture at York College of Art.
Known for her naturalistic depictions of domestic pets and native livestock, the lioness is a rare example of the exotic in her work. She believed in studying her subject in its natural state – in the field or garden. Indeed she wrote in a letter to the vendor of the lioness “The sculpture was made from a Lioness at Flamingo Park Zoo near York – she was not a commission although most of my work is commissioned. I work directly from the animal either in the studio or in the field on domestic, farm or wildlife subjects, for choice British animals”. The sculpture is being offered with an estimate of £3,000-5,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
Four paintings by the much-loved Pennine artist Peter Brook are also included in the sale. Born to a farming family in Scholes, near Holmfirth, Brook was to become an internationally recognised artist, whose wit shone from his paintings. Although he painted throughout the British Isles, it is for his depictions of the Yorkshire Pennine landscape that he is best remembered. Windswept moors, isolated and crumbling farmhouses, sheep-strewn fields were his favourite subject – infused with poetry, humour, and a touch of nostalgia for a disappearing way of life. Being sold with provenance from the artist’s estate are "Two Sheep with a Certain Savoir Faire" (estimate: £3,000 – 5,000 plus buyer’s premium), "Dogs Must be Kept on a Lead But This is The Way to Heaven I Think" (estimate: £2,500-4,000 plus buyer’s premium), "Early One Morning in May" (estimate: £2,000-3,000 plus buyer’s premium) and "Three Worried Sheep" (estimate: £2,000-3,000 plus buyer’s premium).
Mining art is well represented too, with works by Norman Cornish and Tom McGuinness. Both Cornish and McGuinness were working miners, who were part of the Spennymoor Settlement group of artists – a local arts community founded in the 1930s by Bill & Betty Farrell. Depicting daily life for miners and their families – both artists put forward an evocative representation of the both the hardships of their lives and the strength of spirit in their community. Works to look out for include "Misty Street Scene with Dogs" by Cornish, a signed pastel depicting Edward Street in Spennymoor (estimate: £3,000-5,000 plus buyer’s premium), and “Waiting for News” by McGuinness, a powerful image of miners awaiting news after a mining accident (estimate: £600-800 plus buyer’s premium).
5th December 2020, 09:30
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