The artist, who was born in Leeds, studied at Leeds College of Art and then the Royal College of Art in the early 1950s but became ill after graduating and spent a long period living a reclusive life in his parents’ home in Chapel Allerton. Although he produced a large body of work, it wasn’t until 2001 that he first exhibited his paintings.
His reputation has since been growing, as have his auction prices which exceeded £10,000 for the first time in 2004.
The latest work appeared at Tennants’ first timed online auction of Modern & Contemporary Art that closed on August 6.
Weeping Woman, a 3ft 3in x 2ft 6in (1m x 76cm) oil on sackcloth from c.1960-65, had provenance to 108 Fine Art, the Harrogate gallery that had staged the first show of Woodrow’s work nine years ago. Estimated at £3000-5000, it sold at £4800, the third highest price for a work by the artist at auction.
Also bringing good competition at the sale was a small-scale crucifixion sketch by Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002). The 12 x 6in (30 x 15cm) ink on paper was signed and dated 1952.
It was consigned by Reverend Dr Richard Davey, an Anglican chaplain and senior research fellow in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, whose research focuses on the depiction of faith in art.
The leading figure of the Bombay Progressives group of artists, Souza remains a key name in the market. Estimated at £4000-6000, this example was knocked down at £15,000, a sum that compared favourably with the $17,000 (£9425) made by another crucifixion sketch by the artist sold at Sotheby’s New York in September 2005.
Tennants’ next Modern & Contemporary Sale will be held on October 19 with works by Peter Brook, Marcel Dyf and a collection of paintings by Scottish artist Alexander Jamieson already consigned.