Page 1

BRITISH

modern

MASTERS


Detail of: Donald Hamilton Fraser Untitled, c. 1968 Collage on paper 9.5 x 12 in.


BRITISH

modern

MASTERS APRIL 29 – JULY 21, 2017

19 E AST 66 TH S TR EET

N EW Y O R K , NY 10065

212.202.3270

W W W. R O SE N B E R GC O . C O M


Henry Moore Seated Nude, 1929 Pen and ink, charcoal, chalk, and wash on paper 16.89 x 13.31 in.


introduction

B

RITISH MODERN MASTERS is an intrinsically flawed label. It is usually used to

describe a diverse group of artists working in Great Britain from and after World War II through the Sixties. One could easily argue with the designation, or the dates, or that there was any commonality among the artists, or as to who should

or should not be included under that umbrella. One cannot argue, however, with the indisputable flourishing of creativity, the significant influence, the continuing legacy, and the unique objects of beauty that emerged during that time. My introduction to British Modern masters was through Paul Rosenberg & Co. who represented several of the artists — Kenneth Armitage, Graham Sutherland, Donald Hamilton Fraser, Peter Kinley, and Bernard Meadows. It is our honor to invite you to continue the voyage to bring renewed attention to many others, some now legends in the canons of art.

This exhibition could not have happened without the guidance and collaboration of our friends at Osborne Samuel in London. They are a fountain of knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, and professionalism. I respect them profoundly. “British Modern Masters” does not pretend to be an all-encompassing survey of works from the period or a complete compendium of those artists. It is just a wonderful excuse to show some glorious works of art.

M ARI ANNE R O SENBERG

—3—


preface

T

HE COST OF WAR measured in human pain and loss as well as economic

devastation, and a waning British Empire combined with new questions of European security set the the stage for a complex and significant shift in British artistic movements.

Modernism in art is the product of periods of transition: a yearning search for the essence of

life’s order and meaning. The new generation of British artists found a unique voice anchored in the Neo-Romantic movement, fed by new purity of form, and reaching for abstract thought. This development was never independent of its historical context and antecedents or free from other artists and adjacent creative movements. It was, however, a unique confluence of events and circumstances, melding brutal events to everlasting optimism and intellectual aspirations. From studies of the human figure in urban or industrial life to honoring form as a pure subject, British Modern art was a vibrant and rich universe of staggering creativity. Serene times and harrowing hours gave rise to what is a singularly admirable period of brilliant artists grouped together, somewhat arbitrarily, under the label of British Modern Masters.

—4—


Peter Kinley Figure with Easel (I), 1962 Oil on canvas 19.88 x 16.14 in.


robert adams

b. 1917, Northampton, England d. 1984, Maplestead, Essex, England

R

OBERT ADAMS was an English sculptor in post-war Britain. He studied at the

Northampton School of Art from 1933–1944. After the war, Adams dedicated himself to creating sculpture, spending two years honing his skills, teaching himself to sculpt, primarily in wood. His early sculpture showed the considerable

influence of Henry Moore. Adams’s first solo exhibition of sculpture was in 1947 at Gimpel

Fils; the gallery would continue to represent the sculptor throughout his career. Following the exhibit, Adams traveled to Paris, where he became acquainted with the work of Constantin Brancusi and Julio Gonzalez, whose influences led to a greater simplicity of form in his work. In 1949, Robert Adams encountered Victor Pasmore and the British Constructivists (which included artists Adrian Heath, Anthony Hill, Kenneth Martin, and Mary Martin), as a result of his teaching post at the Central School of Art & Design in London. He held this post until 1960 and between 1951–1956, exhibited with these artists. Adams, however, dismissed their

commitment to math and science, content with his focus on shape and form. Herbert Read branded Adams’s work as depicting the “geometry of fear,” referring to a movement in sculpture reacting to post-war anxieties in Britain, though Adams himself did not consider his work political. Towards the end of his life, Adams worked primarily in bronze casts. Although his approach lent itself towards architectural possibilities, very few commissions came to fruition. Adams was included in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1952 and 1962, and participated in the groundbreaking “This is Tomorrow” exhibition at The Whitechapel Gallery in 1956. Despite such accomplishments, Adams remained relatively unknown outside of his circle. Today, his work can be found at the Arts Council Collection; The Tate Gallery, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C. Additionally, Adams has permanent large-scale installations at the BP House in London and the Kingswell in Hampstead.

—6—


Robert Adams

Provenance

Single Curve with Triangles, 1957

Estate of the artist

Steel, unique

Gimpel Fils, London

29.5 x 20.5 x 9.5 in.

Private collection Osborne Samuel, London Rosenberg & Co., New York


robert adams

—8—


Robert Adams

Provenance

Pulse 2 opus 279, 1967

Estate of the artist

Bronzed steel, unique

Gimpel Fils, London

30 x 24 x 4.75 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


kenneth armitage

b. 1916, Leeds, England d. 2002, London, England

K

ENNETH ARMITAGE studied at Leeds College of Art from 1934–1937 and

subsequently at the Slade School of Fine Art, London from 1937–1939. His prewar sculptures of this period were primarily carvings, most of which he later destroyed. During the Second World War, Armitage served in the army and then,

after the war ended, became Head of Sculpture at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, a post he

held for ten years. It is during this period that he began to work in bronze. Kenneth Armitage specifically emphasized the human figure in his sculpture, strongly influenced by the work of Giacometti and Picasso. He developed a distinctive style, casting spindly-legged figures with slab bodies, depicted with a playful humor. From the late 1960s he began to experiment more, combining sculpture and drawing in figures of wood, plaster, and paper; but by the 1970s he had returned to focusing on bronze and non-human subject matter. He often used the juxtaposition of horizontals and verticals to create a sense of movement, to generate an opposition between figure and plane, while also framing the figure as if growing out of the material of the sculpture. Armitage’s first solo exhibition in London was at Gimpel Fils in 1952. He was also represented by Paul Rosenberg & Co. in New York. He was one of eight young British sculptors, including Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Robert Adams, and Geoffrey Clarke whose work, when shown at the Venice Biennale in 1952, was described by Herbert Read as the “geometry of fear.” Their sculptures, with spiky, fragmented forms, seemed to encapsulate the bewildered anguish of this post-war generation. As a group, their work marked a new approach in sculpture, with an emphasis on distorted forms of reality, revealing the artist’s thoughts and inner feelings. This signaled a move in British sculpture towards Expressionism and anti-monumental style. By the time of his retrospective show at the Venice Biennale in 1958, Armitage had achieved international acclaim. He won a number of accolades including the David E. Bright Foundation award for “best sculptor under 45” at the Venice Biennale of 1958. In 1959 a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Today, Armitage’s work can be found in the Tate Gallery, London; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Cleveland Museum of Art, and many more collections around the world.

— 10 —


Kenneth Armitage

Provenance

Seated Woman with Square Head,

Private collection

conceived 1955, cast 1984

Osborne Samuel, London

Bronze, edition 4 of 6 24 x 10.25 x 12.25 in.


edward burra

b. 1905, London, England d.1976, Hastings, England

E

DWARD BURRA studied at Chelsea Polytechnic from 1921–1923, and at the Royal

Collage of Arts, London from 1923–1925. Burra subsequently lived much of the rest of his life at his parents’ house near Rye, in East Sussex. There, in 1927, Burra met Paul Nash who introduced him to avant-garde periodicals in which

Burra saw work by artists such as George Grosz. Stimulated by these works, he began to

make collages, drawings, and woodcuts in a Dadaist vein. He traveled to cities like Paris, Toulon, New York, and Boston as often as his poor health (he suffered from rheumatic arthritis) permitted, spending much of his time in the bars, nightclubs, dance-halls, and cinemas from which he drew inspiration for his paintings, which were almost always in watercolor. Later in his life, these works were often very large in scale, as he pieced separately painted sheets of paper together. Burra’s first solo show was at the Leister Galleries in London in 1930. He exhibited at the “Art Now” and Unit One exhibitions held at the Mayor Gallery in 1933 and 1934, and in the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936. Burra visited Mexico in 1938, and, affected by the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, increasingly painted somber, menacing compositions suggesting cruel religious rites. His illustrations, and his sets and costumes designed for various ballets (such as “Miracle in The Gorbals” of 1944) were very well received. Burra exhibited at the Lefevre Gallery from 1952 onwards, turning his attention to still life and landscape subjects. Burra was awarded a CBE in 1971. Important retrospectives of Burra’s work were held in 1975 at the Tate and in 1985 at the Hayward Gallery. Today, works by Burra can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery, London; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; the Art Institute of Chicago; and The Huntington Library, California.

— 12 —


Edward Burra

Provenance

Excavation, 1952

Private collection, UK

Watercolor on paper

Osborne Samuel, London

22 x 29.75 in.


lynn chadwick

b. 1914, Barnes, London, England d. 2003, Lypiatt Park, Gloucestershire, England

L

YNN CHADWICK was an English artist and sculptor. Originally trained as an

architectural draughtsman, Chadwick began producing metal mobile sculptures during the 1940s. In 1949, Gimpel Fils placed two of these structures in their gallery window and they were an instant sensation. Due to the popularity of

Chadwick’s mobile sculptures, he received his first solo exhibition at the gallery the following

year. Following the success of the show, Chadwick was commissioned to produce three works: two for the 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition and one for the British Arts Council. In the 1950s, a debate raged, pitching “constructed” sculpture against “modeled” or “carved” sculpture. Chadwick was in the former camp; Henry Moore, for example, was in the latter. After years as a draughtsman, Chadwick’s works were technically very refined. Chadwick often said that for him making sculpture was a matter of finding a solution to a problem. The art historian Dennis Farr has commented, “Chadwick looked for geometry and tension, even in his animalist work, and tries constantly to avoid a static quality.” Chadwick’s position amongst the most important of all twentieth-century British artists was underlined by his pivotal contributions to the British pavilions at the Venice Biennales of 1952 and 1956 when he exhibited with Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Bernard Meadows, and Eduardo Paolozzi. In 1956, Chadwick would return to Venice and win the International Prize for Sculpture. Subsequent shows and touring Arts Council exhibitions brought his work to a global audience. In 2003, the year of Chadwick’s death, the Tate honored him with a major retrospective. In 2014, to mark the centenary of his birth, four sculptures were shown in the Annenberg

courtyard at the Royal Academy, and gallery shows were held in London, Berlin, and New York. Today, Chadwick’s work can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio.

— 14 —


Lynn Chadwick

Provenance

Conjunction II,

Loet Venderveen collection

conceived 1957, cast 1983

Osborne Samuel, London

Bronze, edition 2 of 9 33.25 x 5 x 20 in.


lynn chadwick

— 16 —


Lynn Chadwick

Provenance

Composition, 1961

Private collection, Switzerland

Acrylic, watercolor, and ink on paper

Osborne Samuel, London

25.5 x 18 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


prunella clough

b. 1919, London, England d. 1999, London, England

P

RUNELLA CLOUGH was an English painter primarily known for her later, abstract

works. She was an only child, raised in the affluent London neighborhood of Knightsbridge. Although largely self-taught, Clough attended the Chelsea School of Art for two years (1938–1939) until the outbreak of World War II forced her to

abandon her studies. During the war, she worked as a draftsman, graphic designer, and cartographer. After the war, Clough began depicting laborers and rough, urban environments.

She drew truck drivers, the insides of factories, and the industrial peripheries of cities. Her early work was associated with English Neo-Romanticism. Gradually, she became less interested in figurative painting, and more interested in depicting man-made structures that bordered on the abstract, delineating details such as electrical wiring, machines, and metal fences. Consequently, although her paintings became increasingly abstracted, they always retained a kernel of ordinary life. Although usually laconic and self-effacing, she once said of her paintings that through them she was “saying a small thing edgily.” In 1999, in what would be her final year of life, she was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Painting for her lifetime body of work. Ever humble, and cognizant that she was terminally ill, she promptly gave away the entire £30,000 prize. Clough received her first retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, in 1960, and was later given a solo exhibition, funded by the British Arts Council, at the Serpentine Gallery in 1976. Most recently, in 2007, the Tate Gallery, London, honored Clough with a major exhibition

— 18 —


Prunella Clough

Provenance

Still Life with Mugs, 1988

Private collection, London

Oil on canvas

Osborne Samuel, London

30.31 x 25.2 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


prunella clough

— 20 —


Prunella Clough

Provenance

Wire and Rods, 1979

Annely Juda Fine Art, London

Oil on canvas

Adelson Galleries, New York

40.25 x 46.25 in.

Private collection, UK Osborne Samuel, London


john craxton

b. 1922, London, England d. 2009, London, England

A

N ENGLISH PAINTER, John Craxton was born in London in 1922. Craxton

studied at the Central School of Art and then at Goldsmiths College. In 1942, he became friends with fellow painters Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud, sharing a studio with Freud in London. After World War II, Craxton travelled

around the Mediterranean, visiting Greece for the first time in the summer of 1946, before finally settling in Crete in 1960. Craxton greatly admired the work of William Blake. In fact, one of the first works he ever purchased was by Blake. Craxton felt that Blake represented the English imagination, held up in contrast to the “pomposity” of eighteenth-century English painting. Craxton’s early work of the 1940s was often labeled as Neo-Romantic, filled as it is with a combination of the light and life of Greece and the imaginative approach of Blake. The early influence of Blake gave way to that of Cubism and an admiration for Picasso, placing Craxton’s work in a wider European context. Craxton rejected the label of “Neo-Romantic,” preferring the title of “Arcadian painter.” His themes are of course both romantic and pastoral.

However, the combination of figures and abstraction with an emphasis on the human figure within a landscape, reveal what has been called a more humanist approach to his portrayals of Cretian life. The socially well-connected young painter was granted two post-war shows with the British Council in Athens. In 1946, Lucian Freud, with whom Craxton had visited the Sicily Islands during the war, joined him on the island of Poros. Like Picasso, Craxton enjoyed rusticity and in 1948 he told the critic Geoffrey Grigson, “I can work best in an atmosphere where life is considered more important than art — where life itself is art.” The dry islands of the Mediterranean with their maritime traditions and simple peasant way of life inspired him, as it did his friends Julian Trevelyan and Mary Fedden. Though he kept a London house, Craxton declared that, “I feel like an émigré in London.” Nevertheless, his exhibiting career continued unabated in the capital, where his early London gallery displays led to regular solo shows with the Leicester Gallery throughout the 1950s and 1960s and with Christopher Hull during the 1980s.

— 22 —


John Craxton

Provenance

Autumn Landscape with Hills, Spetse, 1946

Princesse Callimachi collection

Gouache on canvas

Costa Achillopoulos collection

31.75 x 47.5 in.

Karya Utama Gallery, London Peter Nahum, London Private collection, UK Osborne Samuel, London


frank dobson

b. 1886, London, England d. 1963, London, England

B

ORN IN LONDON, Frank Dobson was a British sculptor, and the son of a commercial

artist of the same name. From 1902–1904, Dobson worked under the tutelage of

William Reynolds-Stephens. Although best known as a sculptor, Dobson began as

a painter, aesthetically affiliated with the Cubism, Vorticism, and Futurism

movements. Over the next decade, Dobson would split his time between London and Cornwall.

During this phase of his career, Dobson produced mainly paintings and received his first solo show at the Chenil Gallery in London in 1914. After the First World War, Dobson focused on sculpture, having produced his first carving back in 1913. Leicester Gallery held Dobson’s first solo exhibition of sculpture in 1920. During the 1920s, Dobson gained increasing success, heralded as a pioneer of Modern British sculpture. Dobson was well-known for his portrait commissions, most notably the bronze head depicting the writer Sir Osbert Sitwell, which was bequeathed by T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) to the Tate collection. However, Dobson found the female nude to be the most gratifying subject, producing monumental works that drew from a variety of sources, including the work of French sculptor Aristide Maillol and African art. Dobson exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1924,1926, and again in 1928. After World War II, Dobson was appointed professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. In 1951, he was commissioned to produce a work for the Festival of Britain. In 1966, the Arts Council held a memorial exhibition in Dobson’s honor, and in 1994 a retrospective was organized at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds. Today, Dobson’s work can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the National Portrait Gallery, London; and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

— 24 —


Frank Dobson

Provenance

Two Women, 1943

Hamet Gallery, London

Mixed media on paper

The Honorary Mrs. D. Lambton collection

12.25 x 16 in.

[Bonhams London, July 19, 2011, lot 38] Private collection, UK Robin Katz Fine Art, London Rosenberg & Co., New York


FOCUS: the st. ives school and post-war modernism

“The observation of nature is part of an artist's life, it enlarges his form [and] knowledge, keeps him fresh and from working only by formula, and feeds inspiration.” H ENRY M OORE

A

RTISTS HAVE FREQUENTED the fishing town of St. Ives for centuries. The

celebrated Cornish light and captivating landscape beckoned artists to work outside, en plein-air. Following the extension of the Great Western Railway to West Cornwall in 1877, the journey from London was simplified and

consequently, a new wave of artists began to arrive. Before World War I, the artists residing

in St. Ives and Newlyn remained largely disconnected from the stylistic shifts occurring in the rest of Europe. In 1928, artists Ben Nicholson and Christopher Woods holidayed in St. Ives. There, Nicholson and Woods met the potter, Bernard Leach and the self-taught artist, Alfred Wallis. Myth and anecdote shroud the facts of this important encounter, but its significance in the narrative of British Modern art cannot be overstated. Leach and Wallis would come to represent notions of authenticity to many artists after the War, and would themselves remain active contributors to the St. Ives art scene. In August of 1939, Nicholson left London and returned to St. Ives with his wife, sculptor Barbara Hepworth, at the invitation of, and to reside with, fellow artist and critic, Adrian Stokes and his wife, Margaret Mellis, to escape the threat of German bombs. In Mellis’s Cream and White Construction (1941) [pg. 59] it is interesting to note her use of wire or string — a feature so often found in Hepworth’s works — during a period of time when both women were living under the same roof. Stokes, Mellis, Hepworth, and Nicholson would soon be joined by the Russian Constructivist sculptor Naum Gabo and his wife, Miriam. Prior to the War, Nicholson and Gabo, along with the architect Leslie Martin, published Circle: International Survey of Constructive Art (Hepworth and Sadie Martin designed the layout). Herbert Read coined the phrase “a gentle nest of artists” to describe this group of artists (which included Henry Moore) living in Hampstead, London, holidaying together in Norfolk, and evolving their technique and aesthetic sensibilities between the wars. Read, along with Hepworth, Nicholson, Moore, Edward Burra, and Welles Coates, belonged to the short-lived Unit One, founded by Paul Nash in 1933. At this time, Modern art fell into two broad categories: Surrealism and Abstraction. Nash embraced the full spectrum. Unit One reflects a moment of important transition. Artists such as Nash and Burra became more committed

— 26 —


to Surrealism, while Hepworth and Nicholson focused on Abstraction, as exemplified in Nicholson’s Prato (1958) [pg. 71]. In this still life drawing, Nicholson has reduced the physical world to the fundamental component of line. Furthermore, he simplified the shadows into thick, black bands of watercolor, rendering voluminous the otherwise flat intersections of lines. Following the War’s end, Nicholson and Hepworth were joined in St. Ives by a cast of younger artists that included Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost, Bryan Wynter, Roger Hilton, Paul Feiler, and Patrick Heron. Many of these artists had suffered during World War II and found sanctuary in the simplicity of life in St. Ives. Art historian and critic Charles Harrison wrote: Under the cultural conditions that prevailed not simply in England but in Europe during the war and its aftermath — conditions characterized by themes of patriotism, nationalism, xenophobia, insularity and by that peculiar fascinated angst which was expressed in Graham Sutherland's work and then in Francis Bacon's – an unadulterated modernist culture could only continue in rustication. This, according to Harrison, is what separated the St. Ives School from the Neo-Romanticism of Moore and Graham Sutherland that garnered popularity after the war. As with Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko in the United States, and Alberto Burri in Italy, the St. Ives artists were working to address a postwar world through various avenues of Modernism. Paul Feiler, for example, produced Atlantic Island (1952) [pg. 29], a work that, albeit rooted in observations of nature, is an entirely abstract expression. Gone were the days of decorative maritime depictions. While this growing assembly of artists shared little in aesthetic similarity, they nonetheless forged a community, an outpost for the avant-garde. However, various disagreements amongst the St. Ives artists caused a rift and in 1949, the Penwith Society of Arts was established. Leach, Lanyon, Wells, Frost, and Heron were among the founding members. During the 1950s, London was still recovering — economically, structurally and culturally — from the war. It was not until the development of Pop Art in the 1960s that the locus of the artistic vanguard would shift away from St. Ives. Looking back, Patrick Heron, who wrote some of the most effective appraisals of these artists, commented: Outrageous as the art establishment in London would find it, a case could well be made for considering St. Ives the most influential centre of Western painting during the late Fifties- at a moment when Paris began its nosedive from unchallenged preeminence, but New York's contribution had yet to become apparent outside Manhattan. In 1975, Hepworth, Bryan Wynter, and Roger Hilton passed away, in many ways bringing to a close an important chapter of British Modernism which spanned three generations.

— 27 —


paul feiler

b. 1918, Frankfurt, Germany d. 2013, Kerris, Cornwall, England

P

AUL FEILER was born in Frankfurt, and immigrated to Britain in 1933, at the age of

fifteen. Feiler studied at the Slade School, London from 1936–1939, subsequently settling in Cornwall where he was associated with the St. Ives painters, particularly Peter Lanyon. Initially influenced by Paul Cézanne and the Cornish environment, in

the mid-1960s connections with the landscape disappeared from his work, replaced by a

restricted range of geometric forms. Like Lanyon, Feiler suffused the foreground surface of impenetrable painterly graffiti with tantalizing glimpses of landscape. In 1964, Feiler abandoned this gestural expressive style and subjected his work to a calmer, more architectonic aesthetic in which a long-standing interest in mechanical devices asserts itself. His acquisition a decade prior of Kerris, a disused chapel near Lands End, afforded Feiler important studio time in Cornwall despite the increasing demands of teaching in Bristol, where he taught from 1946–1975. Despite his successful absorption into the St. Ives milieu, Feiler instilled his impastoed work with rigorous Germanic structure, a rationalism to counter the Celtic mysteries of the moody Atlantic seaboard. The artist’s critical champion, John Steer, later explained how “this structured approach to nature is best understood against a background of German rather than English Romanticism.” Many of Feiler’s works clearly betray an admiration for the work of the Russian-born French painter Nicolas de Staël, with painterly language of structured impasto and radical simplification of natural motifs tempered by the homespun primitivism of local, self-taught painter Alfred Wallis. As Steer again declares, Wallis’s “unselfconscious, panoramic sense of space is combined with the artist’s own post-Cézannian spatial perceptions.” Wallis’s liberated use of wild and disoriented upside-down space, so seminal to the idiosyncratic Modernism of the sophisticated post-war St. Ives artists, affected Feiler no less than it did his Cornish contemporaries. Feiler exhibited at the Redfern Gallery from 1933–1959, at the Royal Academy from 1943–1972, and was shown in regional and London galleries and abroad. Two retrospective

exhibitions of Feiler’s work were held at Tate St Ives in 1995 and in 2004. Feiler’s work is held in numerous British collections, including the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kettle’s Yard, and the Arts Council. International collections featuring his work include the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris and the Toronto Art Gallery. — 28 —


Paul Feiler

Provenance

Atlantic Island, 1952

Private collection, France

Oil on canvas

Osborne Samuel, London

21 x 29.5 in.


paul feiler

— 30 —


Paul Feiler

Provenance

Pierced Vertical, 1963

Private collection, France

Oil on canvas

Osborne Samuel, London

30.25 x 32 in.


donald hamilton fraser

b. 1929, London, England d. 2009, Henley-on-Thames, England

A

S A YOUNG MAN, Donald Hamilton Fraser trained as a journalist, before joining

the military. It was only after completion of his mandatory service that Fraser went on to attend St. Martin's School of Art (1949–1952). In 1953, he received a scholarship from the French government, allowing him to study in France.

For a year, Fraser lived in Paris, where he contemplated works by Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, and Nicholas de Staël. This intensive year of study enabled him to arrive at his own approach to painting, combining the Tachiste technique of de Staël with his natural proclivity for landscape painting. The result of this unique hybridization is his expressionistic, vibrant, and thickly-layered painterly style. Fraser was also a great lover of ballet, and he would often visit the English National Ballet to sketch the dancers. His linear paintings and drawings of dancers diverge markedly from his landscape and still life paintings; as Fraser wryly stated, “you can’t put corners on dancers.” Fraser's first solo show was at Gimpel Fils in London, where he would exhibit throughout the

1950s and 1960s; during the 1960s and 1970s, he also exhibited at Paul Rosenberg & Co.,

which represented him in New York. Between 1957 and 1983 he served as the Visiting Tutor at the Royal College of Art. Fraser was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1970, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1983, and was elected Royal Academician in 1985, distinguishing him as one of the most important British artists of the twentieth century.

— 32 —


Donald Hamilton Fraser

Provenance

Untitled, c. 1968

Acquired from the artist

Collage on paper

Alexandre and Elaine Rosenberg collection, New York

9.5 x 12 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


donald hamilton fraser

Donald Hamilton Fraser

Provenance

Still Life with Mirror, 1975

Acquired from the artist

Oil on paper

Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York

9 x 12 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


Donald Hamilton Fraser

Provenance

Table with Blue Flowers, 1957

Gimpel Fils, London

Oil on canvas

Private collection

30 x 20 in.

[Sotheby’s New York, Impressionist and Modern Art Sale, March 16, 2011, lot 120] Rosenberg & Co., New York


donald hamilton fraser

Donald Hamilton Fraser

Provenance

Composition in Blue and Black, 1963

Acquired from the artist

Oil on canvas

Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York

48 x 35 in.

The Members Gallery, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Private collection [Christie’s New York, Living with Fine Art Sale, December 14-15, 2015, lot 72] Rosenberg & Co., New York


Donald Hamilton Fraser Untitled, 1958 Oil on paperboard 12.5 x 9.25 in.

Provenance Acquired from the artist Peter Kinley collection Thererafter by descent Osborne Samuel, London


patrick heron

b. 1920, Yorkshire, England d. 1999, Cornwall, England

P

ATRICK HERON was an English painter and art critic primarily known for ushering

“non-figurative” or abstract painting into the British canon. His work is

recognized for its saturated, vibrant use of color. Heron’s father produced tapestries, a medium his son continued to explore well past his childhood. Heron

also enjoyed working in stained glass, as evidenced by a window he installed at the Tate

St Ives, later in his life. Born in Leeds, Heron lived in Cornwall from 1925–1929, and then studied at the Slade School in London from 1937–1939. After registering as a conscientious objector, he returned to Cornwall, where he worked as a farmhand throughout the war. In 1944, he became an assistant to Bernard Leach in St. Ives. The following year he moved back to London, but would continue to visit St. Ives, eventually returning to live in 1956, and taking over Ben Nicholson’s studio shortly thereafter. Heron’s early work highlights his admiration of the French Post-Impressionists, particularly Matisse and Bonnard, in addition to Braque. In his thirties, Heron began to look more and more to the American abstract and color field painters. Such influence had not yet made its way to Britain; however, as the New York correspondent for such publications as Art, New English Weekly, and New Statesman, Heron was able to witness these developments firsthand. Unlike his American counterparts, Heron did not adhere to one mode of composition. The influences of Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, and Adolph Gottlieb are all evident in his work. Before his death, Heron returned to a more organic and figurative style, inspired largely by Matisse. Retrospectives of Heron’s work include those at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1972, the Barbican Art Gallery in 1985, and at Tate Britain in 1998. He received a CBE in 1977. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; the Tate Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in addition to multiple museums throughout the United Kingdom.

— 38 —


Patrick Heron

Provenance

July 15: 1986: II, 1986

Acquired from the artist

Gouache on paper

Private collection

15.75 x 21.3 in.

[Sotheby’s London, Made in Britain II Sale, September 28, 2016, lot 81] Rosenberg & Co., New York


patrick heron

— 40 —


Patrick Heron

Provenance

Number Three: August 1970, 1970

Waddington Galleries, London

Gouache on paper

Private collection, Malaysia

23.25 x 30.5 in.

Osborne Samuel, London


roger hilton

b. 1911, Northwood, Middlesex, England d. 1975, Botallack, Cornwall, England

R

OGER HILTON studied at the Slade School of Art, London from 1929–1931, and

for some two to three years at the Academie Ranson, Paris under Roger Bissière. Hilton is best-known for his abstract oil paintings of the 1950s, many suggesting landscapes, although after 1961, the female figure often appears as a motif.

Hilton’s first solo show was at the Bloomsbury Gallery in 1936. In 1940 he joined the commandos and was a prisoner of war from 1942–1945. After the war, Hilton taught at the Bryanston School and at the Central School from 1954–1956. He painted and exhibited his first abstract works in the early 1950s, and travelled to the Netherlands with a Dutch member

of the CoBrA Group, Constant, after which he reduced his palette to primaries and to black, white, and earth colors, inspired by Piet Mondrian. The mid-1950s were years of great change, both personally and professionally, in Hilton’s colorful life. He embraced a degree of figuration again in his abstract painting that, hitherto, had amounted to a kind of painterly Neo-Plasticism. On a personal level, too, Hilton overcame his cosmopolitan snobbery and embraced the provincial by making initial visits to the artists’ colonies of southwest Cornwall. While the famed light and long artistic heritage there were attractions, it proved to be his new friends there like the critic Patrick Heron, poet W. S. Graham, and painter Terry Frost who were the real pull. And so Hilton bought a small cottage near St. Ives and rented a Newlyn studio during successive summers of the late 1950s. During this period, Hilton found himself caught exploring the dynamic between abstraction and figuration. This conundrum was one he shared with Frost, with whom Hilton was conducting a long and soul-searching correspondence at the time. The human form is present, often crudely and erotically, in much of Hilton’s later work. By the time of his final solo show at Gimpel Fils, London during the autumn of 1956, Hilton was aware that his work was of a European tradition, through the recent impact of the epochal Tate show “Modern Art in the United States.” Hilton won prizes at the John Moores Exhibition in 1959 and 1963, and showed at the Venice Biennale in 1964. Today, work by Hilton can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London; the National Museum, Liverpool; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; and the Harvard University Art Museums, Massachusetts.

— 42 —


Roger Hilton

Provenance

Untitled, c. 1956 – 1957

Private collection, Italy

Oil on canvas

Osborne Samuel, London

14 x 16 in.


peter kinley

b. 1926, Vienna, Austria d. 1988, London, England

P

ETER KINLEY (né Peter Nikolaus Arthur Eduard Schwarz) was a British artist known

for his semi-abstract paintings of figures and landscapes. He was born in Austria

to a Jewish father and a Protestant mother, but in December of 1938, after the Nazis had crossed into Austria, his parents sent him to Britain on a Quaker-

sponsored children’s refugee train. In Britain, he and the other children refugees flitted from

safe home to safe home, until Kinley was finally fostered by Louis and Elizabeth Gaughan, a Roman Catholic couple. In 1944, once Kinley was eighteen, he enlisted in the British army to fight the Germans. Miraculously, both he and his biological parents survived the war; they were reunited on December 31, 1945, when Kinley arrived unannounced on their doorstep dressed in his British uniform. It was the tidal change in Europe following the war that led Kinley to dedicate himself to art. He spent a year of independent study at Düsseldorf Academy, before enrolling in St. Martin’s School of Art. In 1947 he became a British citizen, and by 1951 he was included in regular shows at the London gallery Gimpel Fils. In 1954, Gimpel Fils gave him his first solo show, and by the time Kinley was in his early thirties, his work had been exhibited forty-five times. Kinley was represented by Paul Rosenberg & Co. in New York, where he was given solo shows in 1960 and 1962. His work can now be found in public collections worldwide, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Tate Gallery, and Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.

— 44 —


Peter Kinley

Provenance

Figure with Easel (I), 1962

Estate of the artist

Oil on canvas

Osborne Samuel, London

19.88 x 16.14 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


peter kinley

Peter Kinley

Provenance

Standing Figure (II), 1960

Estate of the artist

Oil on paper laid on card

Osborne Samuel, London

10 x 7.5 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


Peter Kinley

Provenance

Three Studies for Figures with Mirror and Easel, 1960

Estate of the artist

Oil on board

Osborne Samuel, London

6.93 x 4.13 in. each

Rosenberg & Co., New York


peter kinley

Peter Kinley

Provenance

No 1 Red White + Black, 1958

Estate of the artist

Oil on canvas

Osborne Samuel, London

25.25 x 27.5 in.


Peter Kinley

Provenance

Standing Figure in Studio Interior, 1961

Acquired from the artist

Oil on canvas

Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York

72 x 54 in.

Private collection Osborne Samuel, London


FOCUS: the middle generation

“It is barbaric to write poetry after Auschwitz.” T HEOD OR A D OR NO

W

ORLD WAR II and its aftermath unsurprisingly left a profound scar on the

British collective consciousness. There is little doubt that the events of WWII created a fissure that had an indelible influence on how artists would interpret and present the world around them. The Blitz on England,

destroying London and many other cities, was followed by the unrelenting austerity of

rationing through 1954. World War II left a long shadow on all and influenced the artistic output of 1940s and 1950s Britain. In 1940, Henry Moore was named Official War Artist; his beautifully and sensitively delineated Shelter Drawings of the early 1940s are steeped in pathos. The serial reclining forms of these engaging images inspired his iconic monumental sculptures of recumbent figures. Echoing the sentiments of the German philosopher Theodor Adorno, British artist Julian Trevelyan stated: “It became absurd to compose Surrealist confections […] when German soldiers with Tommy-guns descended from the clouds on parachutes.” The British artists who flourished during the post-war period of the 1940s and 1950s are often referred to as the “Middle Generation,” a term used by Alan Bowness in 1959. They were a generation of post-war British artists with a distinct style and ideology, exploring new creative methods to cope with and respond to the traumas of war but not without regard to international exchanges. British artists of the 1950s were cognizant of the scale and presence emphasized in Action Painting and American Abstract Expressionism. A 1952 Nicolas de Stael exhibition at Matthiesen Gallery, London made a vivid and lasting impression on Keith Vaughan, who had spurned abstraction before viewing the show. After the war, artists such as Patrick Heron traveled from the UK to Paris; Jean Dubuffet and Alberto Giacometti were particularly important influences on young British artists forging their careers after WWII; and notably Franz Kline and Mark Tobey were based in England during the 1930s, while Kurt Schwitters lived in England from 1940 until his death in 1948. Post-war Britain from 1945 to the early 1950s was crushed by economic torpor and crumbling infrastructure, but great efforts were made to ensure that the visual arts would thrive despite the bleak, gray outlook. After the conclusion of the war, Peter Gregory, Geoffrey Grigson, E.L.T. Mesens, Roland Penrose, Herbert Read, and Peter Watson set about founding The

— 50 —


Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London. In 1951, the Festival of Britain — a celebration organized to inject levity and optimism into a still-rationed nation — commissioned murals by Victor Pasmore, John Piper, and Graham Sutherland. The murals by Sutherland were colorful and energetic in composition to match the upbeat theme of the Festival. From 1950 until his death he became deeply involved in religion; unlike contemporaries who pursued a dark and somber aesthetic, many of his works related to the church and its rituals were bright and jubilant. The study Project for Coventry (1950) [pg. 75] sketches out a ceiling design for the cathedral in brilliant greens and aqua blue, the figures moving in a group not unlike those of Henri Matisse’s iconic La Danse (1909/1910). Sutherland went on to design for Coventry Cathedral one of the most famous tapestries of the modern era. Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth have come to be seen as dual pillars epitomizing the pre-war/war artist movement, and key artists of the subsequent — or “middle” — generation are generally regarded to be Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Bernard Meadows, and William Turnbull. These artists are all a decade or two younger than Hepworth and Moore, who established their reputations during the former half of the century. Writings of the 1940s, such as Kenneth Clark’s Penguin Modern Painters or Robin Ironside’s Painting Since 1939, extolled the leading artists as Henry Moore and Ben Nicholson in addition to the Neo-Romantics Paul Nash, John Piper, and Graham Sutherland who, interested in the work of William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Samuel Palmer, and J.M.W. Turner, formed the movement in the 1930s. By the 1950s, reverence for the towering greats of the previous generation began to erode amongst emerging British artists and scholars. Lawrence Alloway’s 1954 Nine Abstract Artists indicated a shift away from interest in official war artists and the perceived parochialism of their oeuvres; instead the book championed the young John Craxton, John Minton, and Keith Vaughan. In the same year Eduardo Paolozzi went so far as to issue the dismissive description of Henry Moore as “a continual source of visual surprise and inspiration […] However he is still a man of the 1930s and the idea of holes in wood for sculpture is not for us today.” A major exhibition organized by the Whitechapel Gallery in 1956 omitted prominent artists who cemented their reputations before and during the war. The 1950s saw a plethora of artistic movements splinter off and grow: Social Realism, Geometric and Painterly Abstraction, and Pop, to name a few. The ICA continued to be a highly relevant locus for nurturing new artistic concepts, and the site where the Independent Group (including Alloway, Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, John McHale, and William Turnbull) would convene from 1952 to 1955. Eight artists — Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Geoffrey Clarke, Bernard Meadows, Eduardo Paolozzi, Graham Sutherland, and William Turnbull — were included in the “New Aspects of British Sculpture” exhibition at the British Pavilion of the 1952 Venice Biennale. Incidentally, three of these artists (Armitage, Meadows, and Sutherland) were represented by Paul Rosenberg & Co., a testament to the gallery’s mission

— 51 —


Donald Hamilton Fraser Table with Blue Flowers, 1957 Oil on canvas 30 x 20 in.


to champion new and innovative artists of the international vanguard. The ICA’s Herbert Read characterized the artworks included in the group show as defined by the “geometry of fear” and an “iconography of despair, or of defiance.” Read made a link between the harsh formal properties of the sculptures featured in the 1952 British Pavilion to the mood of anxiety and uncertainty catalyzed by the aftermath of World War II and the ensuing Cold War. Turnbull served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during WWII, and the implied movement of his sculptures is ascribed to his experiences carrying out night flights. Adams’s Single Curve with Triangles (1957) [pg. 7] is not a kinetic sculpture but its dynamic “geometry” of a parabolic curve balanced by isosceles and scalene triangles creates a strong sense of momentum and energy. Chadwick’s contribution to the Biennale were welded metal sculptures suggesting menacing spikes, teeth, and claws. The angular, insect-like pair of Conjunction II (1957) [pg. 15] and the rigid creature Bird III (1958) — more animal-fighter jet hybrid than any avian species — unsettle the viewer by evoking respective auras of tension and aggression. The year of the Biennale was a turning point for Armitage, who had just begun to realize his mature style. He had taught aircraft and tank identification for six years at the army site of Deepcut in Surrey, and brought the power and presence of solid, mechanistic forms to his art practice and would continue to sculpt abstracted human figures with battered surfaces through the 1970s. Seated Woman with Square Head (1955) [pg. 11], composed of chunky, cubic elements, exemplifies Armitage’s hallmark style and subject matter. Meadows, a former assistant to Henry Moore, sculpted blocky, abstracted human forms and often utilized animal imagery as an emotionally-charged metaphoric substitute for human figures; he declared that he was “interested in the tragedy of damaged figures, maybe one half destroyed, the bone structure crushed to a pulp and the other half alive and striving to carry the damaged side. There is little so tragic as being half alive; a brain fully alive and a body only half working.” Seated Armed Figure (1962) [pg. 55] is decapitated and violently incised through its center. Spindly, stumpy legs are attached to a heavy, monolithic torso, accentuating the dehumanizing nature of modern mechanized warfare. Meadows’s tilted, prone, vulnerable figures reflect on the carnage and violent destruction of war and also the psychological tension of the Cold War. Much of the work by artists of the Middle Generation is the product of the savage events of World War II as well as of then-current socio-political circumstances. The visceral emotions and raw aesthetic evident in the oeuvres of the generation of young, post-war artists were greeted with overwhelming positive critical reception, and the artists were granted numerous platforms to exhibit their work, including institutions such as the ICA and Whitechapel Gallery, important commercial galleries like Paul Rosenberg & Co., and the milestone public events of the 1951 Festival of Britain and the 1952 Venice Biennale.

— 53 —


bernard meadows

b. 1915, Norwich, England d. 2005, London, England

B

ERNARD MEADOWS attended the Norwich School of Art before becoming Henry

Moore’s first assistant in 1936. Meadows continued to assist Moore, at his studio in Hampstead, while studying at the Royal College of Art. Although originally a conscientious objector, during the Second World War Meadows joined the Royal

Air Force in 1941, after the Nazi invasion of the USSR. At the war’s end, Meadows would

return to work with Moore, but would also begin to achieve recognition for his own work. War service took Meadows far away from the influence of Moore, and the natural world began to appear in his immediate post-war work. Aggressive animals, crabs, and startled birds predominate his early work shown at the Venice Biennales of 1952 and 1956. Meadows was viewed as being part of a new generation of British sculptors, which included Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, and Eduardo Paolozzi — the group whose work critic Herbert Read referred to as “the geometry of fear.” Meadows later became fascinated by images of powerful historical figures, and these appeared in his sculpture and drawing as semi-abstract versions of armed and dangerous warriors, often with limbs outstretched menacingly. Meadows taught at the Chelsea School of Art from 1948–1960, and was then appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in1960. In the 1980s, Meadows returned to Moore’s side to assist the ailing sculptor. Meadows would continue to manage Moore’s estate after his passing. In 1957, Meadows received his first solo show at Gimpel Fils in London and in 1959, Meadows received his first solo show at Paul Rosenberg & Co. in New York. These galleries represented Meadows and would continue to support the artist’s career. Today, Meadows’s work can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Museum, London; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Storm King Sculpture Park, New York.

— 54 —


Bernard Meadows

Provenance

Seated Armed Figure, 1962

Private collection, USA

Bronze, edition 6 of 6

Gimpel Fils, London

17.5 x 17.75 x 10.25 in.

Osborne Samuel, London


bernard meadows

— 56 —


Bernard Meadows

Provenance

Two Fallen Birds, 1960

Taraman Gallery, London

Graphite and watercolor on paper laid on card

Private collection, New York

8.25 x 10.75 in.

[Doyle New York, Doyle + Design Sale, November 17, 2015, lot 32] Rosenberg & Co., New York


margaret mellis

b. 1914, Swatow, China d. 2009, Haverhill, England

C

ONSIDERED THE “BABY” of the so-called “nest of gentle artists” or the

“Hampstead by the Sea” set, Margaret Mellis was, at the outbreak of World War II, a 26 year old with a thorough training under her belt. She studied under Samuel John Peploe and William Gillies at Edinburg College of Art during the

early 1930s and then at André Lhote’s Parisian atelier. Her real education, however, came in Cornwall during the early 1940s when, with Ben Nicholson’s encouragement, Mellis created small, improvised paper collages issued from a makeshift studio in her famous residence, Little Parc Owels, where she resided with her husband, the art critic Adrian Stokes. Her early collage constructions, made in wartime Carbis Bay, announced the start of Mellis’s career-long involvement with quintessentially Modern and abstract processes. These exquisite

small works utilized a radically reduced color scheme, limited to cream, white, and beige to establish a neutrality of color and form. This neutrality is, however, subjected to an unpredictable asymmetry courtesy of an ingenious and inventive interplay between curved and straight lines and between relief surfaces within a palpable, if shallow, post-Cubist space. The result is an exhilarating feeling of rotating movement and spatial mutation. These constructions had an intimate hand-made quality that, on the one hand, gave a nod to the sophisticated Purism of her Carbis Bay neighbors — Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, and by extension, their youngest “disciple” John Wells — and on the other emulates the unmodified directness of working with “found” readymade materials, learned from collecting the work of the local St. Ives self-taught painter Alfred Wallis. The radical criss-crossing pencil lines also owe a debt to the stringed sculptures of Gabo and Hepworth. Later, in 1984, Mellis spoke of becoming “completely hooked” by the tactile delights of arranging components though the collaging process. While this took the very different form of heavy lumps of colored driftwood, beach flotsam and jetsam, and other found materials, her late, rough and architectonic work employed the same guiding constructive intelligence that had stemmed from early wartime works. Mellis exhibited infrequently during her lifetime. Major exhibitions of her work were held at the Newlyn Art Gallery in 2001 and at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich in 2008. Today, works by Mellis can found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Arts Council Collection, London; and the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. — 58 —


Margaret Mellis

Provenance

Cream and White Construction, 1941

Private collection, France

Relief on board

Osborne Samuel, London

6.3 x 6.3 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


denis mitchell

b. 1912, Wealdstone, Middlesex, England d. 1993, Newlyn, Cornwall, England

D

ENIS MITCHELL arrived in St. Ives, Cornwall in 1930. Along with his brother,

Endell, Mitchell renovated the town’s cottages and shops to earn a living. Inspired by the creative community of St. Ives, Mitchell began to paint seriously. During the war, Mitchell worked as a miner. This episode allowed Mitchell to

develop a new set of skills, and so began his proclivity for creating three-dimensional work. At the war’s end, Bernard Leach, the local St. Ives poet, recommended Mitchell to Barbara Hepworth, who was looking for an assistant. The story goes that Hepworth hired Mitchell for the day and he continued to work there for ten years, until 1959.

At this point in time, Ben Nicholson, by then divorced from Hepworth, offered to support Mitchell as the young artist experimented with bronze. This was a watershed moment for Mitchell. He began to work in series, creating rising vertical forms that utilized the characteristics of bronze to explore the interplay of light on surface and the balance of line and curve. Artist and critic Patrick Heron wrote of Mitchell’s bronzes: “A Mitchell is a form, usually a single, rather stream-lined form enclosed as it were by a single skin — but a skin or surface which weaves and bends and buckles and stretches.” Today, Mitchell’s work can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery and the Arts Council, London, as well as many other collections throughout the United Kingdom.

— 60 —


Denis Mitchell

Provenance

Untitled, 1969

Acquired from the artist

Polished brass on slate base, unique

George Dannatt Trust

14.25 x 2 x 1.5 in.

Osborne Samuel, London


denis mitchell


Denis Mitchell

Provenance

Untitled, 1969

Acquired from the artist

Polished brass on slate base, unique

George Dannatt Trust

10.75 x 2 x 1.5 in.

Osborne Samuel, London


henry moore

b. 1898, Castelford, England d. 1986, Much Hadham, England

B

RITISH ARTIST HENRY MOORE is arguably one of the most influential artists of the

twentieth century. Celebrated as a sculptor, Moore was strongly influenced in his

formative years by painters such as Giotto, Masaccio, Blake, Turner, and Picasso,

as well as the painter/sculptor Michaelangelo. He himself was a skilled

draughtsman. He adopted aesthetic innovations from both Constructivism and Surrealism,

synthesizing the two into his own unique form of figurative abstraction. Organic shapes, not only of the human body, but also of shells, bones, and rocks, inspired Moore’s work. While growing up, Moore showed an early artistic inclination. He began working with clay while still a schoolboy. After serving in the Civil Service Rifles regiment during World War I, Moore was accepted into the Leeds School of Art. Two years later, he was awarded a scholarship to study sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. Subsequently, he taught at the Royal College from 1924–1931 and at the Chelsea School of Art from 1932–1939. The Warren Gallery gave him his first solo show in 1928 and in the same year he gained his first public commission — to carve a relief in stone for a façade of the new Underground Building, London. During this time, Moore was a member of the Seven and Five Society, and he was invited to join Unit One — a group whose members included Edward Burra, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, and Edward Wadsworth. Many of these artists, including Moore, would become associated with the artist collective in St. Ives, Cornwall. Unusual for a sculptor, Moore often used color in his drawings and established a complete pictorial setting for figures or for imaginary sculptural objects, in a manner recalling the work of Giorgio de Chirico or Max Ernst; Moore even exhibited in the International Surrealist exhibition in 1936. During the Second World War, as an Official War Artist, Moore made a series of drawings of people sheltering in the London Underground. He frequently used watercolor over wax crayon employed as a resist. These hauntingly beautiful images captured the psychological trauma of the London Blitz and inspired his monumental sculptures in reclining postures. Moore was given his first international retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946. In 1948 he won the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale. He had retrospective exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London in 1951 and 1968. By the 1970s, Moore was exhibiting internationally in over forty shows per year. Today, his work can be found in numerous public collections of modern art, and his sculptures can be found in public spaces in major cities around the world. — 64 —


Henry Moore

Provenance

Seated Nude, 1929

Mr. and Mrs. Rowland Howarth collection

Pen and ink, charcoal, chalk, and wash on paper

Osborne Samuel, London

16.89 x 13.31 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


henry moore

Henry Moore

Provenance

Three Heads, 1979

Acquired from the artist

Crayon, watercolor, gouache, and pen on paper

Wildenstein & Co., New York

9 x 16.5 in.

Private collection, USA Osborne Samuel, London Rosenberg & Co., New York


Henry Moore

Provenance

Drawing for Metal Sculpture, 1935

Estate of the artist

Colored crayon and pastel

Gimpel Fils, London

14.75 x 21.88 in.

Rosenberg & Co., New York


henry moore


Henry Moore

Provenance

Maquette for Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points, 1929

Marlborough Fine Art, London

Bronze, edition 8 of 9

Private collection, USA

3.5 x 5 x 2.5 in.

Osborne Samuel, London


ben nicholson

b. 1894, Denham, England d. 1982, London, England

B

EN NICHOLSON’S body of work is considered to be emblematic of British

Modernism. His earliest works were inspired by the still lifes by his father, William Nicholson. In the 1920s he would experiment with Post-Impressionist and Cubist

techniques, while in the 1930s, he turned much of his attention towards Russian

Constructivism. In 1910, Nicholson studied at the Slade School, and then traveled widely between the United States and Europe. His first solo show was at the Adelphi Gallery in 1921. During a visit to Cornwall in 1928 with Christopher Wood, Nicholson and his first wife, Winifred

Roberts, met the self-taught artist Alfred Wallis, and bought work from him. Nicholson was a member of the Seven and Five Society, and, until he and Paul Nash moved apart, he was active in Unit One. In 1932 Nicholson visited Paris with Barbara Hepworth (who became his second wife in 1934) and met Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Constantin Brancusi, and Jean Arp. On subsequent visits to Paris in 1933 and 1934 they met Piet Mondrian and László Moholy-Nagy. Jean Hélion encouraged him to join Abstraction-Creation in 1933. In 1937 he, along with Naum Gabo and architect Leslie Martin, edited the monumental book Circle: International Survey of Constructive Art, which identified contemporary artists and architects who were experimenting with Constructivist techniques. With the onset of World War II in 1939, Nicholson and Hepworth left London for St. Ives (where they would both reside until 1958). Here, a collective of British artists including Gabo, Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost, Bryan Wynter, and Patrick Heron, joined them. In 1951, Nicholson was commissioned to paint a mural for the Festival of Britain, and in 1954 he had a retrospective exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Nicholson’s work received retrospectives at the Tate in 1955 and 1969, and in 1956, he received the first-ever Guggenheim International Painting Award, and the next year he received the International Prize for Painting at the São Paulo Biennial. In 1968, Queen Elizabeth II gifted him with an Order of Merit. Today, Nicholson’s work can be found in the Tate Gallery, London; the Tate St Ives; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many more collections around the world.

— 70 —


Ben Nicholson

Provenance

Prato, 1958

Prestons Art Gallery, Bolton

Pencil and watercolor on paper

Crane Kalman Gallery, London

13.4 x 11.6 in.

C. Cone collection, London Private collection, UK Osborne Samuel, London Rosenberg & Co., New York


victor pasmore

b. 1908, Chelsham, Surrey, England d.1998, Valletta, Malta

V

ICTOR PASMORE attended evening classes at the Central School under the

tutelage of A.S. Hartrick from 1927-1931, and in 1932 joined the London Artist’s Association (LAA), which sponsored his first exhibition at the Cooling Gallery in 1933. Through the LAA, Pasmore met William Coldstream and Claude Rogers.

He exhibited at the London Group (LG) from 1930, becoming a member in 1934, and at the

Zwemmer Gallery’s “Objective Abstraction Exhibition,” in 1934. In 1937, Pasmore, along with Coldstream and Rogers, founded the Euston Road School. Pasmore’s early painting was influenced by Fauvism but this gave way to the realist Euston Road style influenced by Walter Sickert and Edgar Degas. In the 1940s, Pasmore worked on a series of Thames and London scenes which sprang from a study of J. A. M. Whistler and J. M. W. Turner and heralded his abstract work. This evolved from paintings of spiral forms to constructed reliefs, influenced by the work of Charles Biederman. In 1950, he visited St. Ives and met Ben Nicholson, who encouraged his work. In the early 1950s, Pasmore was associated with the Constructivist group that included Anthony Hill, Robert Adams, Adrian Heath, and Kenneth and Mary Martin. He organized exhibitions of abstract art with them at the AIA Gallery, Redfern Gallery, and Gimpel Fils. In 1966, Pasmore moved to Malta. In these later works, he returned to painting, and combined abstraction with references to natural forms. His work has been represented in numerous exhibitions including the 1960 Venice Biennale. Pasmore exhibited regularly in leading London galleries, including the Redfern between 19401955, and the Marlborough Gallery from 1961. He also received retrospective exhibitions at

the Tate Gallery in 1965 and 1980. Pasmore taught at Camberwell School of Art between 1943-1949, and at the Central School from 1949–1954. From 1954–1961 he was master of

painting at the Department of Fine Art, Durham University, and started the abstract foundation course ‘The Developing Process’. A Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1963–1936, his many awards include a CBE in 1959, and in 1981 the Companion of Honor. Today, Pasmore’s work can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London; the Manchester City Art Gallery; the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; and, the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

— 72 —


Victor Pasmore

Provenance

Linear Image, 1980

Private collection, UK

Oil and gravure on board, relief

Osborne Samuel, London

30 x 30 in.


graham sutherland

b. 1903, London, England d. 1980, Kent, England

A

FTER A PERIOD as a trainee engineer, Graham Sutherland studied engraving at

Goldsmiths College from 1921–1926. Sutherland’s first solo exhibition was at the Twenty One Gallery in London in 1925, and he was elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers in the same year. Following the collapse of the

print market in 1929, he created designs for posters, china, glass, and fabrics, and began painting. He taught at Chelsea School of Art from 1928 –1939. The 1930s saw him turn to oil

and watercolor while retaining an etcher’s linearity and the ability to translate minuscule objects into greater scale. In 1934 he and his wife Kathleen first visited the West Country and Pembrokeshire (they returned annually thereafter until 1939). Here, Sutherland found in the landscape a primitive drama and a source of inspiration for anthropomorphic natural forms. He exhibited in the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936, and was most impressed by the work of Picasso. As an Official War Artist (1940-1945) Sutherland painted armaments factories and the devastation of shattered masonry and twisted iron in blitzed cities. His haunting use of color lent itself to the depictions of the catastrophic damage caused by the bombings. Sutherland’s first religious commission was in 1944 for St. Mathew’s Church, Northampton: he chose to paint a Crucifixion. Sutherland had converted to Catholicism in 1926. His work reflected a deeply personal sense of religion as well as expressed the profound pathos of the country in the aftermath of the war. In 1950, he painted the “Origins of The Land” for the Festival of Britain, and in 1952 designed the huge tapestry of “Christ the Redeemer Enthroned in Glory” in the Tetramorph for the newly rebuilt Coventry Cathedral. His portrait of Somerset Maugham in 1949 showed his gift for characterization; Sutherland’s major portrait commission of Sir Winston Churchill’s likeness (1954) was destroyed due to the sitter’s strong distaste for the depiction. Sutherland’s color tended to be sharp and acidic, and his use of paint dry in texture. Sutherland received a retrospective at the ICA, London in 1951 and was included in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1952. Paul Rosenberg represented Sutherland at his eponymous gallery in New York, and gave the artist a solo exhibition in 1959. In 1960, Sutherland was awarded the Order of the Merit. Shortly after his death in 1980, the Tate presented a major survey exhibition spanning his career. Today, his works can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Courtauld Institute of Art, London; and the Dallas Museum of Art, among others. — 74 —


Graham Sutherland

Provenance

Project for Coventry, 1950

Fiorella Urbinati Gallery, Los Angeles

Mixed media on paper

Galerie Le Point, Monaco

6.5 x 9.5 in.

Dutry Fine Arts, New York Galleria Open Art, Prato Rosenberg & Co., New York


julian trevelyan

b. 1917, Northampton, England d. 1984, Maplestead, Essex, England

J

ULIAN TREVELYAN, the nephew of G. M. Trevelyan, the British historian, studied English

at Cambridge University where, through his friendship with Humphrey Jennings, he began to study French painting, particularly the work of André Masson. While highly educated, Trevelyan never went to art college and so remained “blissfully free of

academic artistic inhibitions.” Trevelyan’s true visual education came about, “haphazardly,

from watching, first hand, the great contemporary masters in Paris.” These included Picasso, Miró, and Calder, as well as a clutch of minor names encountered at S.W. Hayter’s renowned etching studio in Paris, Atelier 17, were Trevelyan studied in 1931. In 1932, Trevelyan exhibited at the Bloomsbury Gallery and later at London galleries including the Lefecre, Zwemmer and, notably, the Tate. In 1936, his work was included in the London International Surrealist Exhibition and subsequently in many group shows in Britain and abroad. In 1935, Trevelyan established his studio in Hammersmith, London. In 1937 and 1938 Trevelyan was involved with Tom Harrisson’s Mass Observation, which

influenced his choice of industrial landscape as a focus subject. During the war Trevelyan worked as a camouflage officer. In his biography of Trevelyan, Indigo Days wrote about the contrasting Jekyll and Hyde sides to his artistic character. This dichotomy related to the accessible Neo-Romantic imagery on the one hand and the more challenging and disquieting surreal content on the other. Trevelyan was a member of the English Surrealist Group from 1937–1938, and of the London Group from 1948–1963. He taught at Chelsea School of Art for a decade (1950–1960), and from 1955–1963 was a Tutor in Etching at the Royal College of Art. He published a number of important etching suites and several books. Initially, his work displayed a wide range of styles, from Figurative Realism to Surrealist themes. After the war his admiration for Pierre Bonnard produced a looser painting technique but this later changed to a more linear style with heavy outlines and firm, flat areas of strong color. Today, Trevelyan’s work can be found in the collections of the Royal Academy of Arts, the Tate Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery, London; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Indianapolis Museum of Art; and the Seattle Art Museum.

— 76 —


Julian Trevelyan

Provenance

Untitled, 1937

Private collection, UK

Oil on board

Osborne Samuel, London

7.5 x 15 in.


conclusion

B

Y THE 1960s, the UK was emerging from the sequels of the War. With an increase

in national wealth, and a surge of technological innovations derived from wartime initiatives, a new consumer culture came to the forefront. Pop Art and Op Art

emerged as the embodiment of this new hyper-visual reality. But, while a new

generation of artists challenged the very definition of art with a capital “A,” other cohorts continued to probe the vast possibilities of Modernism, driven by the artists of the St. Ives School and the Middle Generation, such as Moore, Hepworth, Sutherland, and Chadwick, amongst others. Works by Donald Hamilton Fraser from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, such as Table with Blue Flowers (1957), Composition in Blue and Black (1963), and Still Life with Mirror (1975) [pgs. 34-36], continued to present the viewer with incongruous juxtapositions of color and texture resulting in spectacular abstractions. Through the 1980s, Patrick Heron, in paintings like July 15: 1986 II (1986) [pg. 39], continued to explore various Modernist modes of abstraction and uses of color. Prunella Clough’s work typically juxtaposed an illusory domesticity with the harsh reality of working class life. Although Clough ventured deeper into abstraction in her later career, this theme remains ever-present, as can be seen in the monochrome painting Still Life with Mugs (1988) [pg. 19]. “British Modern Masters” highlights the persistent strides these artists took in advancing not only the canon of British Art, but of twentieth-century Modernism. While this exhibition

deliberately does not engage the entire century of British art history, this vein of British art, which includes luminaries such as Lynn Chadwick, Henry Moore, and Victor Pasmore, to name a few, demonstrates a significant and noteworthy current of visual developments which spanned the decades, and endured and evolved with the backdrop of major global upheaval ever-present.

— 78 —


bibliography

Christie’s Auction & Private Sales

Bowness, Sophie, ed. Barbara Hepworth:

www.christies.com

Writings and Conversations

Accessed March 2017

London: Tate Publishing, 2015

Doyle’s Auctions

Compton, Susan. British Art in the 20th

www.doyles.com

Century: The Modern Movement

Accessed March 2017

Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1986

Modern British Art. London:

Cooper, Douglas. The Work of

Osborne Samuel Ltd., 2016

Graham Sutherland

Osborne Samuel

1961

London: Percy Land, Humphries & Co. Ltd., www.osbornesamuel.com Accessed March 2017

Harrison, Martin. Transition: The London Art Scene in the Fifties

Sotheby’s Fine Art Auctions & Private Sales

London: Merrell Publishers Ltd., 2002

www.sothebys.com Accessed March 2017

Neff, Terry A. A Quiet Revolution: British

The British Council

New York: Thames & Hudson, 1987

Sculpture Since 1965 www.britishcouncil.org Accessed March 2017

Stephens, Chris. The History of

Born, Richard A. From Blast to Pop: Aspects

New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, 2008

British Art 1870-Now of Modern British Art, 1915-1965 Chicago: The University of Chicago Smart Museum of Art, 1997

— 79 —


Rosenberg & Co. ©2017


Detail of: Donald Hamilton Fraser Untitled, c. 1958 Gouache and collage on paper 25.5 x 19 in.

Untitled, c. 1968 Collage on paper 9.5 x 12 in.


British Modern Masters exhibition catalogue  

Rosenberg & Co. April 29 - July 21, 2017

Advertisement