An innocent child caught up in war is the peculiarly appropriate focus of a work by the artist Gottfried Helnwein entitled The Disasters of War at Sotheby’s Irish art sale in London on September 13. The painting is not about Syria, it is about humankind. The work of Helnwein, who lives and works at Gurteen Castle in Co. Tipperary, is informed by his upbringing in post war Austria where World War 2 cast a horrifying shadow. This innocent child in this photo realist work bears the scars of adulthood’s violence and corruptibility. Helnwein, whose works are in major public collections, moved to Ireland in 1997. His work was exhibited in Kilkenny (2001), at the Crawford in Cork (2004) and in Waterford (2008)
Highlights from the auction, which features important work by stalwarts like Lavery, Yeats and O’Conor as well as more contemporary artists like Elizabeth Magill, Melita Denaro, Eilis O’Connell, John Doherty and Rita Duffy, will be on view at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin next week. Viewing at the RHA is from 10 am to 5 pm on September 1, 2 and 3 and from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday September 4. The Irish viewing will include four Irish art works from David Bowie’s collection to be sold in November, Sleep Sound by Yeats, a watercolour entitled James Joyce by le Brocquy and two works by William Scott, Girl Seated at a Table and Winter Still Life No. 2.