Thursday - 27 November 2014

Modern British prints take centre stage

05 April 2013Written by Alex Capon

People sipping wine may be a slightly less familiar subject for Nevinson, but a copy of the print 'Sur La Terrasse, Parnasse' will appear at Bonhams sale of Grosvenor School and Avant Garde British Printmaking in New Bond Street on April 16.

The colourful 1925 oil on canvas of this image sold at Christie's in June 2005 for £96,000 but this 5 1/2 x 19 1/2in lithograph, probably produced slightly afterwards in an edition less than 75, is estimated at £30,000-50,000.

It is one of 15 prints by the artist that feature in the sale.

Edward Wadsworth

Elsewhere in the sale is the rare woodcut Dazzled Ship in Drydock by Edward Wadsworth (1889-1949). The 5 x 8 1/2in (13 x 22cm) impression is part of series of eight prints produced by the artist between 1917 and 1918 when he worked as a supervisor of the wartime program for the camouflaging of ships in the Liverpool dry docks.

Although there are known impressions on japan paper, the current impression is printed on textured wove. Wadsworth experimented with the visual effects of a variety of papers even for impressions from the same block.

Eight impressions of this print are known in public art collections such as the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, The British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, but no impression appears to have come to the market since 1990.

It is estimated at £10,000-15,000.

Cyril Power

One of the leading Grosvenor School prints on offer is Cyril Edward Power's (1872-1951) Whence & Whither?.

A 12 1/4 x 9 1/2in (31 x 24cm) linocut from c.1930, the image was derived from preparatory drawings of the escalators in Tottenham Court Road made by the artist in 1928. It depicts a host of faceless commuters rendered anonymous on the London Underground by the monotony of the daily commute.

Power's print notes state the original title of this linocut is recorded as The Cascade. As meticulously detailed in his notes, the colours of this impression are worked with varying pressure; densely in the main body of the linocut with lighter tones for the force fields beyond.

It is estimated at £30,000-50,000.

20 7447 7448.

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