Modern choices: Five stylish works by well-known artists at specialist auction16 April 2021 Works by some of the most famous names in Modern British art are regularly on offer at auctions on thesaleroom.com.
Lyon & Turnbull’s Modern Made sale is no exception. The next edition of this auction on April 30 will offer 382 lots from an array of artists, sculptors and ceramicists, with estimates ranging from £60,000 for a striking Lynn Chadwick sculpture down to £200 for a Bernard Leach tile.
Here are five highlights to give you a flavour of what’s on offer
1. Rowntree’s Full Measure
Kenneth Rowntree (1915-97) was a well known painter, draughtsman and teacher who became Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Newcastle in 1959.
While his oil paintings, drawings and watercolours come up on the market fairly regularly, his textiles are rarer. One is on offer however at Lyon & Turnbull’s Modern Made sale. Titled Full Measure and pictured above, the image was designed by Rowntree in 1956 and screen printed onto cotton by Edinburgh Weavers Ltd.
A combination of elegant furnishing, work of art and collector’s piece, it is estimated at £250-350.
View the catalogue entry for this Kenneth Rowntree textile on thesaleroom.com.
2. Vanessa Bell print
Contemporary Lithographs Ltd was a scheme established by Robert Wellington in the 1930s with the aim of encouraging creativity in children by taking prints by acclaimed artists into schools across the country.
An example was this 17.75in x 2ft (45 x 61cm) lithograph by Bloomsbury Group artist Vanessa Bell (1879-1961). It is titled The School Room and dates from c.1937. It shows the kind of home schooling with which Bell would have been familiar as opposed to teaching in a classroom .
The copy at Lyon & Turnbull’s Modern Made sale is estimated at £700-900. View the catalogue entry for this Vanessa Bell print on thesaleroom.com.
3. Wenford Bridge pottery
Seth Cardew (1934-2016) was a sculptor and potter who worked in various parts of the UK as well as overseas before he took over his father’s pottery at Wenford Bridge, Cornwall in 1983.
An example of his fluent pottery designs enriched with appealing textures is on offer at the Lyon & Turnbull sale. Titled At Wenford Bridge, the footed bowl is 23cm wide and is impressed artist's and pottery seals. It is decorated with fish to the inside of the bowl and comes with a £200-300 estimate.
View the catalogue entry for this Seth Cardew bowl on thesaleroom.com.
4. Trevelyan’s Chiswick
Among the works by husband and wife artists Julian Trevelyan (1910-88) and Mary Fedden (1915-2012) that have come to Lyon & Turnbull from four different private collections are a number of early works that date from before they were married in 1951.
One is Trevelyan’s The River Thames Flooded at Chiswick which was painted in 1945, shortly after the artist was demobbed from the Royal Engineers. He had spent much of the Second World War serving in North Africa and Palestine as a Camouflage Officer, becoming an expert in desert camouflage and deception.
The Thames was a constant source of inspiration to Trevelyan. He wrote in 1957: “Here [at Durham Wharf] … I put down my tap-root; My life was measured by its tides, and my dreams were peopled by its swans and seagulls. It has become the backcloth to all my various activities and has remained so ever since.”
The 19.5in x 2ft 3in (50 x 69cm) oil on canvas is signed and dated and is estimated at £6000-8000.
View the catalogue entry for this Julian Trevelyan painting on thesaleroom.com.
5. Fedden’s Fisherwomen
One of Mary Fedden’s (1915-2012) works at the Lyon & Turnbull sale is Fisherwomen which was completed in 1947 – the year of her first ever solo exhibition showing still-life and flower paintings at the Mansard Gallery in department store Heals.
After the Second World War (when she served in the Land Army and as a driver for the NAAFI in France), she had returned to London to work as a full-time artist, receiving a commission to create cover designs for Woman magazine. She would hold one-person shows at venues throughout the UK every year until her death in 2012 by which time she had achieved ‘national treasure’ status.
Fisherwomen depicts a coastal village on a stormy evening and stylistically is derived from the techniques that she learnt at the Slade School. The combination of low-key colours and an increasing sense of pattern and form would later become a signature characteristic of her more mature work.
The 19.5in x 2ft (50 x 60cm) oil on canvas is signed and dated and is estimated at £6000-8000.
View the catalogue entry for this Mary Fedden painting on thesaleroom.com.