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All paintings and sculpture are available for viewing on receipt of this catalogue Please contact the gallery for prices and availability Gallery hours: Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm Saturdays and other times by appointment

20th century british art Autumn 2011

Paisnel Gallery 9 Bury Street, St James's, London sw1y 6ab telephone: 020 7930 9293 email: website:

In this fifth annual exhibition of 20th Century British Art at Bury Street, we continue to endorse the prowess of a number of artists long associated with Paisnel Gallery, a few of whom are still living and working. Modern masters Alan Davie and Martin Bradley, with their intuitive and symbolic slant on abstraction, feature prominently as befits their increasing profiles. The enduring interest in the St Ives movement is satisfied by a broad range of work by Michael Canney, Patrick Heron, John Wells, Peter Lanyon, and of course, Terry Frost. To iconic sculpture by Denis Mitchell and Brian Wall, we have added the artist Breon O’Casey, sadly recently deceased, who we now represent solely in London, and the perceptive flair of Deborah van der Beek for whom we are now the principal dealers.

Index of Artists and Catalogue Numbers Barns-Graham, Wilhelmina Blow, Sandra Bradley, Martin Canney, Michael Chapman, Max Clatworthy, Robert Davie, Alan Eurich, Richard Frost, Terry Heron, Patrick Hitchens, Ivon Hoyland, John Lanyon, Peter Major, Theodore Mitchell, Denis Mount, Paul O’Casey, Breon Piper, John Tunnard, John Underwood, Leon Vaughan, Keith Wall, Brian Wells, John Wilson, Frank Avray Wolfe, Edward Van der Beek, Deborah

11 21 17, 18 8, 23 20 26 14, 15, 16 2 22 10 1 19 12 3 27 28 30 7 5 24 6 25 9 13 4 29


cat 1

Ivon Hitchens 1893–1979 The Courtyard, Greenleaves oil on canvas 20½ x 41¼ ins (52 x 105 cms) painted circa 1942 studio stamp verso provenance The Artist’s Estate

Painted shortly after Hitchens settled permanently at the studio and home in Sussex that came to be known as Greenleaves, The Courtyard is a typically constructed rectangular composition; as Hitchens said, “dark-light, warmcool, up-down, circular shapes and square angular shapes” all combine to create his belief that his paintings should be “listened to”.

cat 2

Richard Eurich 1903–1992 Harbour Scene, Penzance oil on panel 14¾ x 18 ins (37.5 x 46 cms) signed painted circa 1937 provenance Private Collection 2004–2011

Harbour Scene, Penzance, although undated, bears a strong resemblance to Eurich’s coastal and maritime paintings of the late 1930s, for example Moored Boats (1938) in the Government Art Collection and Porthleven, Cornwall (1937) in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. The germ of the design in Harbour Scene, Penzance clearly lies with the fishing vessel pz18 and the nearby pz12. The painting is in the modern idiom in the sense that it has no horizon and the boats in the foreground seem to rear up towards the elevated viewpoint of the artist. The quayside forms a pseudo-horizon, while the large vessel moored nearby is cropped in the style of Degas. The strong colours lend as much balance to the painting as the composition itself. Text kindly provided by Christine Clearkin.

cat 3

Theodore Major 1908–1999 Tulips oil on canvas 20 x 24 ins (51 x 61 cms) painted circa 1969 provenance Monty Bloom Private Collection 1986–2011

Later works by this close contemporary of L S Lowry moved away from gritty industrial landscapes to interiors and still life paintings with Fauve tendencies where importance of strong colour and painterly application was placed above representational values. Major’s dislike for the commercial gallery market resulted in a substantial body of work being retained, enabling a comprehensive retrospective at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery in 2003.

cat 4

Edward Wolfe 1897–1982 Boats at San Feliu de Guixols oil on board 13 x 18 ins (33 x 46 cms) signed, inscribed and dated 1950 verso provenance Leicester Galleries Jacques O’Hana Gallery, London, 1953 Mrs Jennie Hamnett exhibited Arts Council of Great Britain, Edward Wolfe, A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings & Drawings, May – June 1967, cat no 60 under title Boats, Costa Brava (not illustrated).

Wolfe travelled extensively throughout his life and in the 1950s he painted scenes in Italy, France, South Africa and Spain. San Feliu is a busy port in the heart of the Costa Brava in Catalunya.

cat 5

John Tunnard 1900–1971 Figure and Birds tempera and mixed media on panel 16¼ x 23¼ ins (41 x 59 cms) signed and dated ‘41 titled label verso provenance Redfern Gallery, London 1941–1942 Whitney Straight Esq 1952–1972 Peter Nahum Collection 1989–2006 exhibited London, Redfern Gallery, John Tunnard, July 9 – August 1, 1942, cat no 31 London, Allied Institutes, 1952 literature Alan Peat and Brian Whitton, John Tunnard His Life and Works, page 155, catalogue no 206, illustrated plate 44 (page 154) John Tunnard record o 43

cat 6

Keith Vaughan 1912–1977 Demolished Houses in St John’s Wood pencil, gouache and ink 6¾ x 5½ ins (17.2 x 14 cms) signed titled and indistinctly dated 1953 on label verso

Vaughan spent much of his life in and around West Hampstead. He shared a flat with John Minton in St John’s Wood for six years where he made a series of drawings of the area. The works were not intended to be a record of particular houses but more an observation of the changes to the locality by the opposing forces of development and neglect. The Tate Gallery acquired Demolished Houses in St John’s Wood, no 2 in 1955.

cat 7

John Piper 1903–1992 Southwold II gouache 23 x 31 ins (58.5 x 78.7 cms) signed titled and dated 1965 label verso provenance Thomas Agnew & Sons, London (label verso) Marlborough Fine Art, London (label verso) Private Collection 2006–2011 exhibited Edinburgh, The Richard Demarco Gallery, Inaugural Exhibition, August – September 1966

Southwold II bears all the hallmarks of a design for stained glass with translucent colours bordered by dark linear forms. Piper made numerous trips to Suffolk to paint and draw churches and produce designs for glass, notably the John Benjamin Memorial Window (1979) at Aldeburgh.

cat 8

Michael Canney 1923–1999 Natural Arch oil on board 18¾ x 12¾ ins (47.6 x 32.4 cms) signed, dated 1957 and inscribed verso exhibited St Ives, Belgrave Gallery, May 2004, cat no 11

The latter years of the 1950s were important for Canney when he came under the influence of Lanyon and Hilton. Although increasingly abstract, Canney’s work from this period still referenced local landscape in subdued colour. Titles such as Newlyn, Roofs & Sea and Paul, Penzance formed part of a considerable body of work with Natural Arch which pre-dated his more recognisable geometric compositions.

cat 9

John Wells 1907–2000 Landscape oil on board 5 x 12ž ins (12.7 x 32.5cms) indistinctly signed and dated 1957 verso

A classic example of the loosely painted small scale studies produced when Wells was at the Anchor Studio, Newlyn in the late 1950s. Landscape explores weathered textures and colours where surfaces are scratched and dragged over gesso prepared board. The supporting board was cut and painted by Wells and is intended to be part of the painting.

cat 10

Patrick Heron 1920–1999 January 1, 1983 gouache 23 x 31 ins (58.5 x 79 cms) signed and dated verso provenance Waddington Galleries, London, circa 1987 Private Collection circa 1987–2008

Heron’s gouaches from the 1980s exude a softness and fluidity which characterise his work from this period. Heron insisted that his gouaches were works in their own right and not preliminary sketches for later paintings on canvas. January 1, 1983 (a date suggestive of new beginnings) was one of a series which reflects the tranquillity of the gardens surrounding his house in Cornwall, Eagles Nest.

cat 11

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham 1912–2004 Eight Lines, Wave Rhythms acrylic on card 6 x 8 ins (15.3 x 20.3 cms) signed and dated 1988 title inscribed verso provenance The Barns-Graham Trust Inventory Ref wbg 238

Barns-Graham’s fascination with the ocean can be traced throughout her artistic career. From the early drawings of St Ives through to Atlantic Squall (Kirkcaldy Art Gallery and Museum) and Full Tide (Robert Adams Collection) of the 1970s, she depicted the volatile nature of the sea with increasingly linear simplicity. Eight Lines, Porthmeor (1986) is in the permanent collection of the Tate Gallery.

cat 12

Peter Lanyon 1918–1964 Untitled 1963 mixed media on paper 23 x 31 ins (58.4 x 78.7 cms) signed and dated ’63

Painted at a time when Lanyon’s outlook on the world had broadened following travels to America, Untitled 1963 relates to several gouaches with the same colour reduction and gestural structure; Dawn Wave 1962 and Grass Wind 1961 are notably similar compositions.

cat 13

Frank Avray Wilson 1914–2009 Three Panels oil on board 47¾ x 25¾ ins (121.3 x 65.4 cms) signed and dated ’61 verso provenance Redfern Gallery, London 1961 Private Collection 1961–2011 exhibited Redfern Gallery, October 1961 under cat nos 40, 41 and 45

Avray Wilson frequently painted on unusually shaped boards. These three panels originally intended as individual compositions have been combined to epitomise his explosive images drawing on the fissional properties of a material cosmos.

cat 14

Alan Davie Bull God no 5

Born 1920

oil on board 48 x 60 ins (122 x 152.5 cms) signed, dated 1955 and inscribed verso Opus 0 124 provenance Private Collection 2006–2011 exhibited London, Gimpel Fils, Alan Davie, Nov 2005 – Jan 2006 (label verso) literature Alan Bowness, Alan Davie, Lund Humphries, 1967, cat no 93 Douglas Hall & Michael Tucker, Alan Davie, Lund Humphries 1992, cat no 124

The year 1955 was a progressive one for Davie both in terms of the volume of work and the recognition achieved. Five versions of Bull God were produced as well as a number of other significant paintings including Birth of Venus (Tate Gallery) and Magic Box (Museum of Modern Art, New York) which endorsed Davie’s emergence as a leading British artist.

cat 15

Alan Davie Born 1920 Flag Walk 1974 wool pile tapestry 82 x 110 ins (208.3 x 279.5 cms) with woven signature signed & numbered 14 from an edition of 21 (label verso) provenance Gimpel Fils and Barry Cronan Fine Art Ltd, 1974

Another example of Flag Walk is held by the Government Art Collection and was installed in Buenos Aires at the Ambassador’s Residence in 2004. It was chosen as part of a group of art with links to broader South American themes. Inspired by Davie’s visits to the Caribbean, its geometric forms refer to the prehistoric petroglyphs of St Lucia, the island which he visited regularly for many years.

cat 16

Alan Davie Born 1920 Improvisations for Tigers Tail oil on canvas 18 x 32 ins (45.7 x 81.3 cms) signed, dated 1960 and inscribed verso

The tiger’s tail was a recurring motif throughout Davie’s work from the 1960s. Compositionally similar to Tiger is Joyful (Paisnel Gallery Post-War and St Ives November 2009, cat no 13), it reflects a lighter and more optimistic mood than the more sombre paintings of the previous decade.

cat 17

Martin Bradley Born 1931 Yellow Composition gouache and pencil on board 22½ x 22 ins (57 x 56 cms) signed and dated ’55

The year 1955 was a pivotal point in Bradley’s career, with two successful exhibitions at the Redfern Gallery and Piccadilly Gallery. In London he became acquainted with the writers John Osborne, Harold Pinter and Bill Hopkins known as the “angry young men”. A year later he signed a contract with Gallery One and continued to show paintings with strong calligraphic and symbolic images through the 1950s and 1960s.

cat 18

Martin Bradley Seer

Born 1931

oil on canvas 32 x 26 ins (81.3 x 66 cms) signed and dated ’59 title inscribed verso provenance Private Collection 2002–2011

A classic in Bradley’s oeuvre, Seer reveals a figurative presence in subdued palette with fewer of his characteristic emblems or symbols. 1959 was a very successful year in Bradley’s career with international recognition from exhibitions at Wittenborn Gallery in New York and Galerie Barcinsky in Rio de Janeiro.

cat 19

John Hoyland 1934–2011 Untitled 1969 acrylic on paper 21 x 29 ins (53.3 x 73.7 cms) signed and dated ’69 titled label verso provenance The Waddington Galleries, London Purchased by Mr and Mrs Kreitman 1969 Private Collection 2005–2011

Painted whilst Hoyland was Principal Lecturer at Chelsea School of Art, Untitled 1969 is a typically rich and pure abstract built up from almost voluptuous layers of paint. It pre-empts his experimentation of the 1970s with varied and tactile surfaces where the paint has been poured, splattered and worked with brush and palette knife.

cat 20

Max Chapman 1911–1999 Tycoon oil on board 60 x 48 ins (152.4 x 122 cms) signed label verso painted circa 1960 provenance Purchased directly from the artist circa 1990

Although originally a figurative painter with a studio in Newlyn, Chapman chose the path of abstraction in the early Post-War years and by the 1960s was fully engaged in experimentation with collage techniques including “papier colle”, initially conceived by Braque. He exhibited with the avant-garde London galleries, Grabowski and New Vision Centre and produced a body of work that was quite unique in its physical construction.

cat 21

Sandra Blow 1925–2006 Wave Sequence, Porthmeor Series acrylic and wood on canvas 48 x 48 ins (122 x 122 cms) signed, dated ’97 and inscribed on canvas overlap provenance The Duke of Westminster

Painted in the same year that Sandra Blow was showing at the Tate St Ives, Wave Sequence is typically muted in colour as with other of the Porthmeor Series and reflects tones from the beach rather than the countryside. The use of raw wood collage suggests driftwood on the sand ridges left by the tide.

cat 22

Terry Frost 1915–2003 Blue Forms mixed media on canvas 48 x 48 ins (122 x 122 cms) signed and dated May–June ’68 verso provenance Save & Prosper Collection exhibited London, Leicester Galleries, June–July 2003 Medieval to Modern, cat no 46

Almost two decades after Terry Frost first used quadrants to simulate boats in his “Walk Along the Quay” series, he was still experimenting with the similar shapes found in Blue Forms. These structures create rhythms which enhance the movement of colour over the canvas and captivate the observer. Colour was now Frost’s primary motivation.

cat 23

Michael Canney 1923–1999 Pink Edgefold oil on board 11¾ x 11¾ ins (30 x 30 cms) signed, dated ’86 and inscribed verso

Canney worked on a considerable number of asymmetrical paintings in his later years using both alkyd and oil. The former gave him the benefit of a rapid drying medium for precision, the latter still allowing depth of texture and surface. Pink Edgefold is an iconic composition with a keen understanding of geometry and balance.


cat 24

Leon Underwood 1890–1975 Water-Rhythm bronze on elm base 8½ x 19 ins (21.5 x 46 cms) signed and dated ’57 cast in an edition of 7 provenance Zwemmer Gallery, London where purchased by Wilfrid Evill July 1957 Wilfrid Evill Collection 1957–2011 exhibited London, Beaux Arts Gallery, Leon Underwood, 11 May – 24 July 1953, cat no 31 London, Zwemmer Gallery, Sculpture and Drawings; Henry Moore, Marino Marini, Barbara Hepworth, F.E. McWilliam, Epstein, Leon Underwood, 4–29 June 1957 London, Kaplan Gallery, An Exhibition of Sculpture by Leon Underwood, 1961, cat no 6 (another cast) New York, Acquavella Galleries, Sculpture by Leon Underwood, 16 October – 17 November 1962, cat no 3 (another cast) Brighton, Brighton Art Gallery, The Wilfrid Evill Memorial Exhibition, June – August 1965, cat no 273 Colchester, The Minories, Leon Underwood: A Retrospective, 9 August – 10 September 1969, cat no 42 (another cast) literature Ben Whitworth, The Sculpture of Leon Underwood, Lund Humphries, cat no 15, illustrated page 115

cat 25

Brian Wall Born 1931 One Curve, 1961 painted steel 57½ x 51 ins (146 x 129.5 cms) unique literature Chris Stephens, Brian Wall, Momentum Publishing 2006, illustrated pages 52 and 54

Brian Wall moved from St Ives to London in 1960 and, influenced by the Situation Exhibition, began to produce large scale works. His solo show at the Drian Gallery in 1961 and Paris Biennale indicated the advent of the curve in his compositions. One Curve was primary in a series that focused on Wall’s increasing interest and command of balance and cantilever.

cat 26

Robert Clatworthy Standing Figure

Born 1928

bronze 15 x 7½ ins (38 x 19 cms) signed with initial “C” on base numbered 1 from an edition of 8 conceived and cast in 1963 exhibited London, Waddington Galleries, Robert Clatworthy, 1965

Standing Figure was one of a series of works exhibited at Waddington Galleries in 1965. The muscular torso is exaggerated by the diminished scale of the head and arms. Whilst there is much in common with the figures of Giacometti, Clatworthy has his own uncompromising language which borders on abstraction. The first comprehensive study of this underrated artist is due for publication in 2012.

cat 27

Denis Mitchell 1912–1993 Pelyn polished bronze with green patina on slate base 8 x 11 ins (20.3 x 28 cms) signed with artist’s initials, dated 1975 and inscribed on base numbered 4 from an edition of 7 provenance Purchased directly from the artist by Roger Leigh in 1983 Private Collection 1983–2011 exhibited Penwith Galleries, St Ives, Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture 1932–1992 Denis Mitchell, 80th Birthday Exhibition, 30 June – 1 August 1992, cat no 82 (another cast) literature Denis Mitchell Sculptor, Published by New Ikons 1992, illustrated page 43 (another cast)

cat 28

Paul Mount 1922–2009 Nest stainless steel on slate base 11¼ x 11¼ ins (28.5 x 28.5 cms) signed and numbered 5/5 on base cast in 2008

The inspirations for Paul Mount’s sculpture were numerous and varied. Sails were appropriate for Spirit of Bristol, a five metre high steel piece commissioned by Bristol City Council in the late 1960s. Although essentially angular, sculptures were also conceived in relation to landscape and more recently toward the representation of figures. Nest was commissioned in 2007 and is probably one of the last works cast in his lifetime.

cat 29

Deborah van der Beek Rolling Horse

Born 1952

bronze 8 x 15 ins (20.3 x 38 cms) signed with artist’s initials numbered 6 from an edition of 9

Deborah van der Beek produced her first sculpture in 1999 with a mature artistic vision and an intrinsic flair for the medium. Peter Davies wrote, “her sculpture stands out for its compelling mixture of potent thematic content and brisk expressive handling of form�. She excels at the portrayal of animals and Rolling Horse clearly illustrates her understanding of, and affection for, equine anatomy. .

cat 30

Breon O’Casey 1928–2011 Dublin Bird bronze on slate base 24½ x 21 ins (62 x 53.3cms) number 2 from an edition of 5 cast in 2004 provenance Private Collection 2006–2011

Breon O’Casey’s sculpture reflects his enduring interest in primitive culture and folk art. Both simplified in form and monumental in stature, Dublin Bird was conceived in Cornwall but cast in Ireland; a pertinent fusion of creative backgrounds for an artist who had strong associations with both Celtic-based communities.

20th century british art Published in 2011 by Paisnel Gallery isbn 978-0-9558255-5-2

Paisnel Gallery 9 Bury Street St James’s London sw1y 6ab Telephone: 020 7930 9293 Email: Š Paisnel Gallery All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without first seeking the written permission of the copyright holders and of the publisher. Photography: Paul Tucker Photography Design: Alan Ward @ Print: DeckersSnoeck, Antwerp

Cover: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Eight Lines, Wave Rhythms (detail) Front endpaper: Martin Bradley, Yellow Composition (detail) Back endpaper: John Tunnard, Figure and Birds (detail)

9 Bury Street

St James’s

London sw1y 6ab

telephone: 020 7930 9293

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20th Century British Art  

Fifth Annual Exhibition of 20th Century British Art Paintings and Sculpture

20th Century British Art  

Fifth Annual Exhibition of 20th Century British Art Paintings and Sculpture