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  • Archive for January, 2020

    DIVERSE WORLD CULTURES AT NEW YORK WINTER SHOW

    Saturday, January 18th, 2020

    The Winter Show which gets underway in New York on January 24 is a celebration of diverse world cultures from antiquity to the present day. The leading art, antiques and design fair in the US attracts experts in fine and decorative arts from around the world.The reach of objects on display is global too.  Among the 2020 highlights are a c1725 George I red japanned bookcase, an Egyptian green basalt bust of a nobleman from the Late Dynastic Period c664-610 BC, a c1849 Sevres enamel ewer, an aboriginal rainforest softwood painted shield, a Fang Ancestral Reliquary from Gabon, Africa, an 1815 New York City made pier table and a Japanese burl wood stand designed to instal a small object dedicated to meditation.The annual loan exhibition for which this show is renowned offers visitors a focused look at exceptional collections.This year it features masterworks, including a Velazquez portrait, from the Hispanic Society Museum and Library spanning 4000 years of history, art and culture from the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America and The Philippines. There is work by El Greco and Goya, mid 18th century painting from the Cuzco School in Peru, an exceptional 17th century aquamanile or water container from Portugal, a painting by John Singer Sargent from his travels in Spain and work by the Valencian master Sorolla, subject of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland last year.

    Camilo Astalli, known as Cardinal Pamphili by Diego Velazquez courtesy of the Hispanic Society Museum and Library New York

    THE SKY LOVERS BY YEATS AT CHRISTIE’S

    Thursday, January 16th, 2020

    It is, according to the auctioneers Christie’s, in paintings like The Sky Lovers that we see the roots of Yeats’ most emotional and highly evocative works.  The 1947 work provides a striking example of his late painting style. Early in 1947 Yeats lost Cottie, his wife of 53 years, and when he returned to his easel it was with a new found emotional intensity.  In this work two figures are depicted looking to the sky as one raises his hands imploringly to the heavens. Through light and vigorous brushstrokes the artist brings energy to the work, a sense of desolation and a yearning for something lost.  The Sky Lovers comes up at the Modern British Art evening sale  at Christie’s in London on January 21 with an estimate of £200,000-300,000.

    Jack Butler Yeats, R.H.A. (1871-1957) The Sky Lovers

    SHEPPARDS WILL OFFER 870 LOTS OVER TWO DAYS

    Thursday, January 16th, 2020

    Contents from Newtown House and other clients will come under the hammer at Sheppards in Durrow on January 21 and 22. Around 870 lots will come under the hammer in two days of sales broken up into four sessions. Among them in a sale of antique furniture, silver, jewellery, art, rugs and collectibles is a Chinese silver rickshaw supporting condiments with an estimate of just 200-300. The catalogue is online.

    TAMARA DE LEMPICKA PORTRAIT AT CHRISTIE’S

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

    Tamara de Lempicka’s Portrait de Marjorie Ferry (1932) will be a highlight at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in London on February 5. The painting was commissioned by the husband of the British-born cabaret star Marjorie Ferry at the height of Lempicka’s fame in Paris where she was the most sought-after and celebrated female modernist painter. By 1930 Lempicka had become the première portraitist in demand among both wealthy Europeans and Americans, specifically with those who had an eye for classicised modernism. The portrait is estimated at £8,000,000-12,000,000.

    Tamara de Lempicka, Portrait de Marjorie Ferry

    ARCHIVE LETTERS OF IRISH ESTATE IN TEXAS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

    An archive of letters dealing with the estate and family of John McMullen comes up at Sotheby’s sale of Fine Manuscript and Printed America in New York on January 27. Born in Ireland McMullen was an Irish empresario or land contractor in Texas under the colonisation system used by the Mexican government. He was granted an empresario contract in 1828 to establish a colony in Texas and was co founder of the McMullen-McGloin colony which spanned a vast area of land between the Nueces and Medina rivers. The town of San Patricio was established in 1831 as part of the colony.

    The archive of approximately 42 letters signed by Jacob Waelder in San Antonio, Texas, to John McMullen (“Friend McMullen”) in Mauch Chunk (present-day Jim Thorpe), Pennsylvania, December 12, 1834 to February 22, 1869, runs to about 105 pages. McMullen was born in Ireland in 1785 and went to the US as a young man. The archive is estimated at $25,000-35,000.

    NAZI LOOTED ARTWORKS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Monday, January 13th, 2020

    Three works recently restituted to the heirs of Gaston Lévy, one of the most notable patrons and art collectors living in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, will come up at Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale in London on February 4. One is by Camille Pisarro, two by Paul Signac. Lévy’s art collection was dispersed under the Nazi occupation, and two of the works to be offered in February were lost to the ‘Einsatztab Reichsleiter Rosenberg’ (an organisation dedicated to receiving looted cultural property) in October 1940. After the war, the works were repatriated to the French state, and have recently been restituted by the French Government to Lévy’s heirs from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The third of the works to be offered – Signac’s Quai de Clichy. Temps gris – had been stored in the Lévy’s country home, the Château des Bouffards, but later found its way into the collection of the dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, whose illicit hoard was discovered by the authorities in 2012.

    Paul Signac – Quai de Clichy. Temps gris 

    THE SPLASH SET TO MAKE SALEROOM WAVES

    Sunday, January 12th, 2020

    David Hockney’s The Splash will highlight Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction in London on February 11. It is estimated at £20-30 million, over six times the price achieved when it last sold at auction for £2.9 million at Sotheby’s London in 2006. That was then an auction record for a Hockney.

    Painted in 1966, The Splash immortalises a fleeting moment just seconds after a diver has broken the calm surface of a swimming pool. The painting’s protagonist is present, yet absent, masked by a torrent of displaced water. The work is a quintessential example of Hockney’s lifelong fascination with the texture, appearance and depth of water – a fascination which culminated in one of the most celebrated and instantly recognisable bodies of work in 20th century art.

    It is the second in a series of three ‘splashes’, the largest and final of which, A Bigger Splash is in the Tate collection in London. These paintings represent the apex of Hockney’s Californian fantasy. Created at a watershed moment in his career, the three ‘splashes’ secured the artist’s international reputation as a leading artist of his generation and confirmed his unrivalled ability to combine elements of disparate movements – Minimalism, Modernist Abstraction and Pop Art – into a new style entirely of his own.

    David Hockney, The Splash, 1966

    CLADDAGH RINGS TO MAKE CLADDAGH RECORDS?

    Sunday, January 12th, 2020

    The Claddagh ring collection of the Hon Garech Browne of Luggala, who founded Claddagh Records in 1959, comes up at Sotheby’s 2020 instalment of Royal and Nobel in London on January 21. Irish lots feature prominently in this 250 lots auction.There is furniture, paintings and collectibles from Killadoon House on the banks of the River Liffey in Kildare, formerly one of the seats of the Earls of Leitrim and owned by the Clements family; a selection of mostly collectible lots from Luggala and the collection of the late Garech Browne and some lots from an important Irish collector.No less that 22 Claddagh rings representing love, loyalty and friendship owned by Garech Browne are included. The Claddagh ring as it is now known was first produced in the 17th century in the fishing village of Claddagh. Many of the examples in Garech Browne’s collection are rare and early.  The most expensively estimated is a c1700 ring by Thomas Meade, Kinsale or Galway at £2,500-4,500. Galway makers featured include James Clinch, Nicholas Burge, George Robinson, Richard Joyce and Austin French.Also from Luggala is a collection of mostly Galway 18th century ecclesiastical silver, Irish 18th century rosaries with pendant crucifixes, some Irish silver, furniture and a George III longcase clock by James Aikin, Cork c1780 (£3,000-4,000).

    There are portraits, Irish 19th century furniture, Chinese and European porcelain and bronzes. Also in the sale from an Irish collection is a George II side table in the manner of William Kent which is estimated at £30,000-50,000.  This table was brought to Birr Castle in the 1940’s by Anne, Countess of Rosse and came to the present owner by descent.

    This c1700 rare Claddagh ring by Thomas Meade, Kinsale or Galway is estimated at £2,500–4,500).

    A SURREAL MASTERPIECE AT CHRISTIE’S

    Friday, January 10th, 2020

    Rene Magritte’s A la rencontre du plaisir (Towards Pleasure) comes up at Christie’s Surreal auction in London on February 5. It combines several if his most iconic motifs into a single, evocative image, creating an elegant summation of the poetic imagination which fuelled his unique form of Surrealism. Purchased directly from the artist shortly after its creation, the painting has remained in the same family collection for over half a century, and is coming to auction for the first time and is estimated at £8-12 million.

    René Magritte, À la rencontre du plaisir

    IRISH ART ONLINE AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL SALE

    Thursday, January 9th, 2020

    An online auction of Irish art by Morgan O’Driscoll runs until the evening of January 20. Artists featured include Mark O’Neill, James Humbert Craig, John Shinnors, Melanie le Brocquy, Patrick O’Reilly, Markey Robinson and many more. The catalogue, with 259 lots in total, is online.

    MARK O’NEILL (B.1963) – Summer Floral II (2019)