The Collection of Leslie Waddington will be offered for sale as a single-owner auction at Christie’s in London during Frieze week next October. The sale will feature works from his personal collection including Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Milton Avery, Agnes Martin, Francis Picabia, and Jean Dubuffet, as well as works by many of the contemporary artists he represented. Assembled over several decades, Waddington’s personal collection is testament to his pioneering spirit as an art dealer who presented a groundbreaking exhibition programme and fostered creative relationships with artists: he brought a range of Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary names to the attention of international audiences and defined the London art landscape long before the rise in popularity of the contemporary art world today.
Born in Dublin Leslie Waddington, who died last year aged 81, was son the art dealer Victor Waddington and his wife Zelda (nee Levine). In 1927 Victor had founded a pioneering gallery in Dublin that represented contemporary Irish artists including Jack Yeats. Leslie Waddington received a classical education at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, whose old boys included Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. He revered the Irish literary tradition and later on, in Paris, befriended Beckett, with whom he played chess. In 1958 he joined his father’s new gallery at Cork St. in London and in 1966 set up on his own. He was to become a leading British art dealer. In 2003 he was one of the first dealers to participate in Frieze. A Part II day auction will be held in November to coincide with Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art auctions.