The auction house said that interest came from “across the world” for Rising Kite, Clare Island Cycle, a large oil on canvas dating from 1998 which had previously been part of a UK corporate collection.
The 4ft 8 x 9ft 4in (1.44 x 2.85m) picture was a trademark Abstract by the Limerick-born painter. It was an example from his series of ‘kite’ paintings – mainly three-toned canvases based on the motif of kites being blown around in the wind. Described by Dreweatts as “a seminal example of Shinnor’s bold expressive style”, it was painted on the mountainous Clare Island off the coast of Co Mayo during a time when he had fully developed his mature abstract style.
It was pitched at £10,000-15,000 on October 22 but the colours and composition of the picture meant it was regarded one of Shinnors’ more dynamic pieces. The artist, who is represented by Taylor Galleries in Dublin, has received increasing ‘curatorial approval’ with his works now held by Arts Council of Ireland, Ulster Museum in Belfast and the Limerick City Art Gallery.
These factors both helped it overshoot the estimate and it was eventually knocked down at £40,000. Only one of his paintings has ever made more at auction: Estuary Forms, Limerick that made €70,000 (£55,230) at Morgan O’Driscoll in May 2008.
Also drawing international interest at Dreweatts was Fisherfolk unloading the catch by Manuel Colmeiro (1901-99). The 4ft 7in x 4ft 9in (1.15 x 1.46m) signed oil on canvas had been purchased by a member of the vendor’s family from the Broadway Gallery in London in 1964.
The artist was born in Pontevedra in north-west Spain but emigrated to Argentina with his parents at the age of 12. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires and later returned to Europe, holding exhibitions in Madrid, Paris, London as well as the Argentinean capital over the course of his career.
Works appear at auction relatively often, and this example was deemed an attractive tonal example depicting figures on the shore. Estimated at £2000-3000, it sold at £15,000 to a Spanish private buyer. Overall, the sale raised £396,625 including premium from 315 lots.