Christie’s has some works from its Modern British Art Evening sale in London taking place in the echo of New York’s marquee sales. The rise in values for Modern British painters over the last couple of years has crept up on the market. It’s no surprise to see Stanley Spencer and L.S. Lowry commanding seven-figure estimates. But now works by Patrick Heron, Leon Kossoff and Peter Lanyon are expected to sell well into the high six-figure territories:
Christie’s will be offering a group of works by British painters in the upcoming Modern British Art Evening sale in London on 19 November 2018. Icons of British painting will be led by Stanley Spencer’s Caulking(1940, estimate: £1,500,000-2,500,000), offered for the first time at auction. The work is part of the Shipbuilding series commissioned by the War Artist’s Advisory Committee in 1940, illustrating the valuable contribution made by the British shipbuilding industry and its workers to the war effort. This will be offered alongside L. S. Lowry’s A Northern Race Meeting (1956, estimate: £1,500,000-2,500,000), a unique painting in the artist’s oeuvre depicting a day out at the races, which has remained in the same family for over 50 years, having been purchased the year the work was completed.
Alongside these are works by Allen Jones, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and Leon Kossoff. Marriage Medalby Allen Jones (1963, estimate: £300,000-500,000) can be regarded as a trailblazer of what became common practice, with Jones among the first painters in Britain to explore the expressive possibilities of ‘shaped’ canvases and use it as an animating force.
The wit and visual impact of Marriage Medalimmediately appealed to Shirley Schneer, wife of Hollywood producer Charles Schneer, who bought the painting in 1964 having attended the opening of Jones’s show at the Tooth Gallery.
Painted between 1968 and 1970, Rumbold: 10 December 1968 – 5 October 1970 by Patrick Heron (1968-70, estimate: £150,000-200,000) is the first from a series of paintings completed in Rumbold Street, West London. This vibrant phase of Heron’s oeuvre was a profound departure from the broader, more spontaneous painting of the early sixties. Orpheus by Peter Lanyon (1961, estimate: £500,000-700,000) visualises the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Willesden Junction – Autumn Afternoon by Leon Kossoff(1971, estimate: £900,000-1,000,000) is one of the most dynamic renderings of Kossoff’s favourite London scene, the station, depicted in great swathes of thick impasto paint and vivid colours.