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    REMARKABLE PIECE OF PICTORIAL CORK HISTORY

    Saturday, May 14th, 2016
    A remarkable painting of the busy interior of Queen’s Old Castle in 1848 by Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898) at Mealy’s sale at Lotabeg in Cork on May 24 offers a rare glimpse of normal life at the height of the famine.  This remarkable piece of pictorial Cork history shows people shopping, discussing purchases and interacting with each other in a most ordinary way at a most extraordinarily tragic time.  Now the site of Argos on the Grand Parade the Queen’s Old Castle was, for over 100 years, one of the busiest department stores in Cork. From 1879 to 1902 it was managed by John S. Hart, whose son Vincent went on to own Lotabeg. The contents of this fine old Cork residence are being sold by Vincent’s descendants.  Stopford’s watercolour is Lot 1 in a sale of 763 lots and estimated at 1,500-2,500.
    Estimates range from under 100 euro to 150,000 for Sir Peter Lely’s portrait of the 1st Duke of Ormonde.  One of the finest pieces of furniture is an Irish William IV circular dining table with an estimate of 20,000-30,000.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for May 1 and April 27, 2016)

    Robert Lowe Stopford's watercolour of the interior of the Queen's Old Castle, Cork in 1848.

    Robert Lowe Stopford’s watercolour of the interior of the Queen’s Old Castle, Cork in 1848.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,600 AT HAMMER

    A circular William IV dining table

    A Irish circular William IV dining table.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 26,000 AT HAMMER

    AN ONLINE SALE OF IRISH ART AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL

    Friday, May 13th, 2016

    The current online Irish art auction at Morgan O’Driscoll runs until May 23.  The 365 lots are available to view online or at Mr. O’Driscoll’s offices in Skibbereen on May 19, 20 and 23.  Here is a small selection:

    Peter Collis RHA (1929-2012) Still Life (1994) (2,000-3,000)

    Peter Collis RHA (1929-2012)
    Still Life (1994) (2,000-3,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    John Skelton Snr (1923-2009) Launching the Currach (800-1,200)

    John Skelton Snr (1923-2009)
    Launching the Currach (800-1,200)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,100 AT HAMMER

    Kenneth Webb RWA FRSA RUA (b.1927) Connemara Bog (4,000-6,000)

    Kenneth Webb RWA FRSA RUA (b.1927)
    Wild Flowers, Erlough (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 3,200 AT HAMMER

    Cecil Maguire RHA RUA (b.1930) The Morning of Horse Fair (2003) (4,000-6,000)

    Cecil Maguire RHA RUA (b.1930)
    The Morning of Horse Fair (2003) (4,000-6,000) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 3,000 AT HAMMER

    A WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR FRIDA KAHLO

    Friday, May 13th, 2016
    Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) ($8-12 million). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016.

    Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
    Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) ($8-12 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016.

    There was a world record for Frida Kahlo at Christie’s in New York last night when Dos desnudos en el bisque (La tierra misma) sold for $8,005,000 at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale.  This was a record for any Latin American artist at auction.

    The top lot of the sale was Monet’s Le bassin aux nympheas which made $27,045,000. Modigliani’s Jeune Femme a la rose (Margherita) made $12,765,000 and Au Petit Gennevilliers by Monet sold for $11,365,000.  The sale total was $141,532,000 in an auction where 44 of the 51 lots offered found buyers.

    The sale attracted registered bidders from 36 countries, with strong bidding from Asia, Europe and the United States.

    Brooke Lampley, Head of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie’s New Yorkremarked: The strong outcome of tonight’s sale is the result of confidence and enthusiasm in the market at the tail end of a successful week. This was a tightly edited sale that united rare and blue-chip works at a variety of price levels. Bidders competed vigorously for works by Barbara Hepworth, Francis Picabia, Paul Klee, Hermann Max Pechstein, and Marc Chagall. We saw Asian bidding for a wide range of artists at a variety of price points. It was gratifying to witness a sophisticated and intelligent market at work. We are particularly proud of the result achieved for Frida Kahlo’s Dos desnudos en el bosque, which set the world auction record for the artist and became the highest price for any work by a Latin American artist. Tonight’s results bring our running total to $620.7 million”.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for April 19, 2016)

    A LAVERY PORTRAIT IN NEW YORK

    Thursday, May 12th, 2016
    SIR JOHN LAVERY (1856-1941) - MRS. OSLER

    SIR JOHN LAVERY (1856-1941) – MRS. OSLER

    A 1929 portrait by Sir John Lavery entitled Mrs. Osler comes up at Sotheby’s sale of 19th century European art in New York on May 18. In a catalogue note Professor Kenneth McConkey observes that the intimate interior and casual pose of the sitter epitomises the liberation that came with the Jazz Age.

    Before the Great War it would have been inconceivable to show a woman other than a courtesan lounging on a sofa with the abandon of the sitter.  The interior is interesting too.  Despite the growth of modernist decor after 1925 classical rococo room decoration signified high style and remained very much in vogue.

    This portrait was painted at the Osler’s villa in Cap d’Antibes.  On the recommendation of his painting pupil Winston Churchill, Lavery had replaced Tangier with the Cote d’Azur as a regular winter respite.  The estimate on the portrait, the property of a Canadian private collector, is $300,000-500,000.

    UPDATE:  This failed to sell.

    A $57 MILLION BASQUIAT AT CHRISTIE’S

    Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
    Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Untitled Acrylic on canvas Painted in 1982 © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2016.

    Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Untitled
    © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2016.

    An untitled 1982 acrylic on canvas by Jean Michel Basquiat was the top lot at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary art evening sale in New York on May 10. Bought by a collector in Asia it made $57,285,000 in a 60 lot auction which realized $318,388,000.  The sale was 87% sold by lot and 91% by value.

    Mark Rothko’s No. 17 painted in 1957 made $32.6 million: Clyfford Still’s PH-234 made $28.1 million and an enamel on aluminum by Christopher Wool painted in 1992 sold for $13.6 million.  Others in the top ten were Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Richard Prince, Robert Ryman, Cy Twombly and Roy Lichtenstein.

    There were six new world auction records for artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Agnes Martin, Mike Kelley, Richard Prince, Kerry James Marshall and Barry X Ball. The results bring the week’s running total to at Christie’s to $396.5 million, which includes the price achieved by the May 8 evening auction of Bound to Fail. Registered bidders from 39 countries took part, with strong bidding from Asia, Europe and the United States.

    Sara Friedlander, Vice President, Head of Evening Sale, Post-War and Contemporary Art, stated“We built our sales this season to reflect the macro environment, providing an ideal balance that suits an array of collecting tastes. Tonight’s success is the result of a tightly edited sale with top quality works, which were extremely fresh to the marketplace. 84% of the lots had never been sold at auction, and of the 10 works that had been sold, only 4 had been offered over the past 10 years”.

    Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “We are very proud of the record price achieved for Basquiat’s monumental portrait of the artist as devil at a time when top collectors are pursuing works of the very highest quality. This painting drew intense competition that dispelled questions of a market contraction”.

    NEW WORLD RECORD FOR RODIN AT SOTHEBY’S

    Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
    Maurice de Vlaminck - Sous-boix

    Maurice de Vlaminck – Sous-bois sold for $16,378,000

    There was a new world record for Rodin at Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 9.  L’Eternel printemps – a white marble rendering of a passionate couple – sold for $20.4 million.  There was spirited bidding for other masterpieces in a sale which brought in $144.5 million.

    Auguste Rodin - L’Éternel Printemps

    Auguste Rodin – L’Éternel Printemps

    Sous-Bois by Maurice de Vlaminck sold for $16,378,000, Paul Signac’s Maisons du Port made $10,666,000, Claude Monet’s Maree Basses aux petites Dalles sold for $9,822,000 and Camille a l’Ombre by the same artist sold for $9,434,000.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for April 21, 2016)

    STILL DARING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

    Monday, May 9th, 2016
    Henri Gervex - Rolla

    Henri Gervex – Rolla

    An artwork which stopped the traffic in Paris in 1878 is still daring after all these years.  Aged twenty-six, French artist Henri Gervex experienced a succès de scandale  when he exhibited Rolla, his most famous work. The painting was pulled from exhibition at the Salon by the Surintendant des beaux-arts on grounds of immorality, and subsequently put on public view by a Parisian dealer for three months where, according to Gervex, ‘there was an uninterrupted procession of visitors with a queue of carriages backed up to the Opera’.

    Sotheby’s will offer Henri Gervex’s réplique of Rolla, in which the artist faithfully reprises the detail and palette of the monumental original (now belonging to the French state, and a highlight of the recent Splendeurs et Misères exhibition in Paris and Amsterdam). Most likely painted on commission for a collector who wanted their own piece of the scandal, the painting is the first full version of Rolla to come to auction in over twenty-five years, and the only known variant of its size. It comes up in London at a sale of 19th century European Paintings on May 25, with an estimate of £400,000-600,000.

    138TH ANNUAL SHOW BY DUBLIN PAINTING AND SKETCHING CLUB

    Monday, May 9th, 2016

    The 138th annual exhibition of the Dublin Painting and Sketching Club runs at Dun Laoghaire County Hall for two weeks from today. This year the exhibition, which is sponsored by Whyte’s, will mark a centenary of Irish literature.  Among the diverse range of nearly 300 works by 80 artists are paintings inspired by Irish poets and writers.  Some non-member artists have been invited to participate this year.  Here is a small selection:

    ‘Anna Livia Plurabelle You’re Changing from me Or is it me is’, by Kate Bedell

    ‘Anna Livia Plurabelle You’re Changing from me Or is it me is’, by Kate Bedell

    The Stone Field’, oil on canvas by Mary Duffy

    The Stone Field’, oil on canvas by Mary Duffy

    ‘Ulysses Molly Bloom, All the Lovely Places We Could Go’, ink and watercolour by Brid Clarke

    ‘Ulysses Molly Bloom, All the Lovely Places We Could Go’, ink and watercolour by Brid Clarke

    ‘Colm’, a portrait of writer Colm T?ibín by Aidan Hickey, the new president of the Dublin Painting & Sketching Club

    ‘Colm’, a portrait of writer Colm Toibín by Aidan Hickey, the new president of the Dublin Painting & Sketching Club

    WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR MAURIZIO CATALAN

    Monday, May 9th, 2016
    Maurizio Catalan - Him.

    Maurizio Catalan – Him.

    A 2001 sculpture of a kneeling Hitler made a world record auction price for Maurizio Catalan at Christie’s in New York. Entitled Him and composed of wax, human hair, suit, polyester resin and pigment it sold for $17,189,000.  It was the top lot at Christie’s Bound to Fail evening sale on May 8.  The auction brought in  $78,123,250 with sell-through rates of 97%  by lot and 98% by value. The sale established seven new world auction records for artists including Paola Pivi, Neil Jenney, Olivier Mosset, Daniel Buren, Rebecca Horn, John Armleder, Maurizio Cattelan. Records were also set for a sculpture by Richard Prince and a video by Bruce Nauman.

    Loic Gouzer, Deputy Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “With Bound to Fail, we sought to push the envelope with an auction that emphasized artists and works that challenge the traditional notions of commercial success. The auction’s strong outcome was the result of enthusiastic bidding from a diverse group of collectors from all over the world. We were encouraged by the passionate response to works that have traditionally been overlooked or construed as challenging. Maurizio Cattelan’s, Him, set a world auction record for the artist when it sold for $17,189,000 after over five minutes of bidding. The depth of interest for this work speaks to its international notoriety, and its ability to breach the boundaries of fine art and popular culture, forcing the viewer to reconsider challenging questions about action and absolution”.

    CILLA’S LOWRYS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Friday, May 6th, 2016

    Three works by L.S. Lowry from the collection of the late Cilla Black will come up at Sotheby’s sale of Modern and Post-War British art in London on June 13.  Cilla rose to stardom as a singer managed by Brian Epstein, with songs written for her by close friends Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Decades on, she continued to delight millions with her unique brand of unaffected humour and charm. She was introduced by Epstein to the pleasure of buying art. The three paintings have a total estimate of £520,000-830,000.

    Her sons are quoted by Sotheby’s saying:  “Mum and dad bought art that they loved and that they could relate to, and since L.S. Lowry painted the world that our mother grew up in there was very much a personal connection to each of these particular paintings. It was Brian Epstein who first introduced them to buying art when they were able to afford to, and he introduced them to a number of artists who were prominent at the time. Dad had a good eye for seeking out great works, and mum wanted to feel a connection to the works on a personal level and Lowry was an artist they were both drawn to”.

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, Family Group, 1938 (£300,000-500,000)

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, Family Group, 1938 (£300,000-500,000)

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, The Black Church, 1964 (£120,000-180,000)

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, The Black Church, 1964 (£120,000-180,000)

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, The Spire, 1949 (£100,000-150,000)

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, The Spire, 1949 (£100,000-150,000)