Modern British Art

Paintings, sculptures and prints made by 20th century British artists. Big names in this sector include Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and LS Lowry.


Collector sets auction record for Winifred Nicholson pastel

15 April 2004

ONE of the hottest Modern British names in the last few years, has been Winifrid Nicholson (1893-1981), whose half-length portrait of her husband Ben Nicholson made a record £100,000 at Lawrence’s, Crewkerne in January 2002.

Architect donates 600-work collection to Pallant gallery

23 March 2004

THE architect of the newly built British Library is to donate 600 art works collected over 50 years to the nation. Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson will hand over the gift to Pallant House Gallery in Chichester via the National Art Collections Fund (Art Fund), the UK’s leading independent art charity.

Turmoil years are Fine Art choice for a comeback

23 March 2004

FOUNDED in 1876, The Fine Art Society at 148 New Bond Street is one of London’s oldest and most innovative galleries and it has chosen a fascinating theme for its next exhibition, which opens on March 23 when the gallery gets back to business after two months renovation.

The fall and rise of a tragic young man

23 March 2004

ALTHOUGH Derwent Lees (1885-1931) is recorded in reference books, such as the Handbook of Modern British Painting and Print-making 1900-1990, published by Ashgate, he is not that well known outside specialist trade circles.

Wedgwood Ravilious Coronation mug

14 January 2004

Following the £620 sale of three Wedgwood Ravilious Coronation mugs in November, Tom Delaney of Mallams in Cheltenham recalled seeing a similar mug in a local house – this much rarer example transfer printed with a brick kiln together with a silhouette portrait of Stoke-on-Trent’s most famous son and the inscription Josiah Wedgwood Barlaston 1940 Etruria 1730.

For the Celts, the modern boom’s nothing new

29 October 2003

THE growing strength of the Modern British market has had plenty of publicity over the last couple of years, but strong demand for Post-War painting is hardly news to the Scottish and Irish collectors who have been faithfully backing the “Modern Celtic” market for decades.

Lenkiewicz’s public love affair burns on

30 September 2003

The Establishment remains unconvinced but eccentric’s studio sale is a sell-out: HAVING claimed to have slept with 3000 women, and certainly having fathered at least 15 children and kept open studio for the entire community of local vagrants, one of whom he kept embalmed in a drawer for 15 years, the Plymouth painter Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002) was undoubtedly one of the great larger-than-life characters of British post-War art.

The artist now arriving...

16 September 2003

Fred T. Jane is a turn-of-the-century artist who doesn’t make much of an impact in the sort of standard reference works that line the office walls of serious auctioneers and dealers.

Coming up... Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) watercolour, Hull’s Mill

16 September 2003

If the forthcoming 20/21 British Art Fair at the Commonwealth Institute proves as successful as many dealers are hoping, there will be no shortage of competition for this signed and inscribed Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) watercolour, right, Hull’s Mill, coming up for sale at the Stansted Mountfichet rooms of Sworders (15% buyer’s premium) on October 21.

Churchill Portrait

12 February 2003

The Spring Fine Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia, which will be held in London from February 25 to March 2, has received a record amount of publicity thanks to this Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) portrait of Churchill, right.

£1.35m Munnings is clear winner

13 December 2002

Thanks to the combination of sporting subject matter and extremely slick technique, Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) continues to be one of the few early 20th century British painters to command a truly international following among the world’s richest private collectors.

Hepworth doubles hopes

23 October 2002

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the market has undergone a slow but steady shift towards 20th century painting in particular the Post-War abstraction of the St Ives school whose geometric shapes and pure blocks of colour are wholly in tune with contemporary tastes.

Girl’s revealing tassel

23 October 2002

“Marvellously dotty” was how Peyton Skipwith of The Fine Art Society chose to describe this 14 by 12in (36 x 30cm) oil on panel by Rex Whistler (1905-1944). Entitled Miss Muffet, the panel depicts the moment when, sat upon her tuffet eating her curds and wey, a spider sits down beside the well-known nursery rhyme character.

For Lowry on a budget – Delaney

08 October 2002

For those who can’t afford paintings by L.S. Lowry, the Manchester townscapes of Arthur Delaney (1927-87 appear to be becoming an increasingly popular substitute.

Annigoni’s majestic appeal goes worldwide

03 October 2002

THE Italian painter Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988) is forever associated in English minds with his dramatic 1955 portrait of The Queen, which now hangs in The National Portrait Gallery and which still has plenty of admirers, including HM herself.

A Sharp reminder of quality sparks £41,000 bids battle

23 September 2002

Quality paintings have been extremely thin on the ground in the provinces in the last few weeks, but this Dorothea Sharp (1874-1955) oil did at least create a stir at the Leominster rooms of Brightwells (15% buyer’s premium) on August 29 when it climbed to £41,000 against an estimate of £3000-5000.

Mellon’s appeal grows wider

10 September 2002

It wasn’t until Campbell Archibald Mellon (1876-1955) retired from business at the end of the First World War that he devoted himself to painting. He moved to Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk and the bulk of his artistic output is focused on the beaches and holidaymakers in the area.

American collector catches his £9800 Wave after 30-year wait

14 August 2002

CONDITION is a prime concern in the 20th century print market but occasionally images come on the market that are so rare and so striking that condition concerns take a lower priority – particularly if the buyer has been searching for such a piece for 30 years.

Mackintosh, cloak and dagger…

25 July 2002

Artists at Walberswick: East Anglian Interludes 1880-2000 by Richard Scott, published by Art Dictionaries Ltd. ISBN 0953260941 £29.95hb

Going Shell, going well over hopes

24 July 2002

SINCE the 1920s, Shell have commissioned paintings from key British artists for Shell county guides, calendars and school wall charts. In order to raise funds to create a new exhibition space in the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu for the earlier works from the company’s collection, Shell decided to sell 193 lots dating from 1950-1990, most of which had never been seen in public before, at Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5% buyer’s premium) on July 4.

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