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  • Archive for March, 2024

    BEADED AND RHINESTONE GOWN DESIGNED FOR RAQUEL WELCH AT JULIEN’S

    Sunday, March 31st, 2024

    This is Raquel Welch’s beaded and rhinestone gown designed by Bob Mackie and worn to a 1979 photoshoot. It comes up at Julien’s online sale in Hollywood on April 12 with an estimate of $2,000-$3,000 as part of a sale titled Bombshell: The Raquel Welch Collection. One of Hollywood’s most famous sex symbols Welch, who died in 2023, became a pioneer of the strong female lead character from her roles in Fantastic Voyage, Hannie Caulder, Myra Breckinridge and The Three Musketeers for which she won a Golden Globe award.  There are annotated film scripts, memorabilia like her Screen Actors Guild card, costumes and pieces from her home. Among 500 lots are the earrings worn when she played herself in Season 8, episode 22 of Seinfeld and the iconic fur bikini from One Million Years B.C. which became one of the biggest pin up posters of all time.

    CLOCKS GO FORWARD TONIGHT

    Saturday, March 30th, 2024
    A team of staff and volunteers at the Irish Museum of Time in Waterford are preparing to take shifts to change clocks as they go forward one hour tonight.  More than 600 clocks from Ireland and around the globe, including the oldest clock in the world with an anchor escarpment (the ticking mechanism) made in London by William Clement in 1663, will be adjusted.  Some of them are eight day clocks and have already been adjusted, others have little quirks and moving them forward is an exercise in patience.

    GREAT VARIETY AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL IRISH AND INTERNATIONAL SALE

    Saturday, March 30th, 2024

    Primrose Hill by Frank Auerbach UPDATE: THIS MADE 21,000 AT HAMMER

    With signed Andy Warhol and Joan Miro screenprints, contrasting approaches to landscape in views of Primrose Hill by Frank Auerbach and Union Hall by Donald Teskey, an oil on canvas by Conor Harrington, still lifes, interiors and a bravura portrait by Genieve Figgis the April 9 Irish and International sale by Morgan O’Driscoll is characterised by great variety.

    The first two artworks of the 164 lots on offer, a pen drawing by Jack B Yeats redolent of an Ireland long vanished and a fairly abstract lithograph entitled Coloured Wall by Sean Scully, illustrate this diversity very well.  The most expensively estimated lot is Villas near the Sea, Cassis (1913) by Roderic O’Conor (€70,000-€100,000).  At the other end of the cost scale is a 1980 photograph of Samuel Beckett by John Minihan (€300-€500) and an oil on board of The Rosses, Co. Donegal by Estella Solomons (€500-€750).

    Artists are often fascinated by the unformed drawings of the very young. At first glance Primrose Hill by Frank Auerbach – a series of crayon squiggles on a page – looks like something your average two or three year old might have produced.  The clue is in the title. Look more closely and an image of Hampstead Heath on a summer day emerges, complete with winding path, trees, blue sky and approaching dark clouds.  The colour range is precise. In his catalogue entry Peter Murray notes:  “Much of the drawing’s zest and energy is created by this understanding of colour theory translated into action that underpins the seemingly random and chaotic marks and results in an impressive work of art created from the simplest materials”.  Auerbach’s Primrose Hill (€15,000-€25,000) is indeed fascinating and no, you could not do it yourself.

     Union Hall, West Cork by Donald Teskey. UPDATE: THIS MADE 29,000 AT HAMMER

    Union Hall by Donald Teskey presents a beguiling picture of the charming west Cork fishing village and is estimated at €20,000-€30,000.

    The catalogue cover lot is a screenprint by Andy Warhol titled Ladies and Gentlemen II.135 (1975).  The estimate is €7,000-€9,000. A William Scott screenprint,  Still Life with Frying Pan and Eggs, is estimated at €5,000-€7,000 and there are etchings and prints by Georges Braque, Damien Hirst, Mr. Brainwash and Joan Miro whose La Megere et La Lune (1973) was published by Maeght Paris and  numbered 36 from an edition of 50.  A pencil drawing of Dock St., Belfast by L.S. Lowry dates to 1964 and is estimated at €15,000-€20,000.

    Master of Money and Mirrors by Conor Harrington. UPDATE: THIS MADE 40,000 AT HAMMER

    Master of Money and Mirrors is an oil on canvas by the Cork artist Conor Harrington whose street art propelled him to fame.  He is now represented in a growing number of collections and this piece is estimated at €40,000-€60,000. Portrait of a Lady by Dublin born Genieve Figgis, whose use of Twitter propelled her to the international stage, is estimated at €30,000-€50,000.

    A portrait of a lady in a white dress by Cork born Adam Buck (1759-1833) is estimated at €2,000-€3,000 and a unique 3D wood relief by Maser has an estimate of €4,000-€6,000.  There is sculpture by, among others, John Behan, Rowan Gillespie, Helen Walsh, Patrick O’Reilly, Siobhan Bulfin and Mark Rode.

    Viewing takes place in Skibbereen on today, tomorrow and Monday and in Dublin at the RDS from April 5 to April 8. The auction will begin to close at 6.30 pm on April 9.

    No to War by Patrick O’Reilly. UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,400 AT HAMMER

    REMINDERS OF A FORGOTTEN IRISH VC AT O’DONOVAN SALE

    Saturday, March 30th, 2024

    UPDATE: THIS MADE 300 AT HAMMER

    A World War I British Army recruitment poster featuring Inchigeelagh born Victoria Cross recipient Michael O’Leary comes up as lot 18 at O’Donovan’s online auction in Newcastlewest on April 3.  He was awarded Britain’s most prestigious award for gallantry for single handedly charging and destroying two German barricades defended by machine gun positions at  Cuinchy in France in 1915.

    Subsequently feted in London and Macroom he was jeered by Ulster Volunteers during a recruitment drive in Ballaghaderreen in the autumn of 1915. This caused such a scandal that it was raised in the Houses of Parliament. O’Leary, who died in London in 1961, served in France in the same regiment as British actor Stanley Holloway and the two, both born in 1890, remained lifelong friends. Holloway often stayed at The May Fair Hotel where O’Leary was concierge.  The recruitment poster is estimated at €150-€250. The contents of two pubs in Cork and Limerick will be offered by O’Donovan’s. The auction offers collectibles and many items of interest including a Michael Collins portrait poster, a Dan Breen wanted poster, an Allman’s Irish Whisky mirror, advertising signs and road signs of various sorts.

    UPDATE: THIS MADE 400 AT HAMMER

    MAJOR WARHOL – BASQUIAT COLLABORATIVE WORK AT SOTHEBY’S

    Friday, March 29th, 2024

    Untitled by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Untitled 1984 by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat – the most significant collaboration painting at auction in a decade – will highlight Sotheby’s marquee contemporary art auction in New York in May. This large -scale example of a creative experiment that fused their distinctive visual languages and styles – Warhol’s signature use of screenprinting and mechanically produced imagery, such as corporate logos, coupled with Basquiat’s expressionistic, figurative scrawls in paintstick – to create one of the most singular bodies of work in 20th century art during their famed period of collaboration from 1983 – 1985.
    In the four decades since their creation, the Warhol-Basquiat collaboration paintings have only added to the mystique and legend of their creators, and stand out as daring testaments to their artistic partnership and friendship.

    Coming to auction for the first time in nearly 15 years with an estimate in the region of $18 million, Untitled’s sale is set to mark a new benchmark price for the series.

    PENAL DAYS IN IRELAND RECALLED IN HONE SKETCH AT O’DRISCOLL SALE

    Friday, March 29th, 2024

    EVIE HONE (1894-1955) – SKETCH FOR THE PENAL DAYS (c1936-37). UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER

    Evie Hone’s design for a small stained glass window made in the 1930’s for An Túr Gloine (The Tower of Glass) comes up at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current Irish and International Art online auction which runs until April 9. The gouache on paper is based on her studies of medieval stone carvings in Ireland. The lunette, which featured at Hone’s retrospective in Dublin in 1958, is now housed the Chapel of Rest at Tallaght University Hospital. The estimate on the sketch is 3,000-5,000.

    The sale is on view in Skibbereen on March 29. 30, 31 and on April 1 and at the RDS in Dublin from April 5-8. The catalogue is online.

    The first exhibition dedicated to the pioneering stained glass studio An Túr Gloine (The Tower of Glass), founded in 1903 by Sarah Purser is now open at The National Gallery and continues until January 12, 2025. Featured artists include Wilhelmina Geddes, Michael Healy, Catherine O’Brien, Alfred E. Child, Hubert McGoldrick, Ethel Rhind and Evie Hone.

    REMARKABLE COLLABORATIVE RESTORATION GETS UNDERWAY

    Thursday, March 28th, 2024

    Paulus Potter (1625-1654), Head of a White Bull, c. 1643-47. Image, National Gallery of Ireland.

    The National Gallery of Ireland and the Mauritshuis in The Hague are set to embark on a collaborative new conservation project delving into the world of Dutch artist Paulus Potter. Potter’s lesser-known work Head of a White Bull (c. 1650), in the Gallery’s collection, will be researched by a multidisciplinary team of conservators, curators and scientists. It will be studied alongside the iconic The Bull (De Stier, 1647) in the Mauritshuis’s collection. From March 29 visitors to the Mauritshuis will be able to follow the multi-analytical examination of De Stier and Head of a White Bull. Subsequent results will go on to inform a major restoration of The Bull in front of the public at the Mauritshuis over the next two years.

    Preliminary research into Head of a White Bull has revealed that it is a fragment a large painting by Potter that once depicted The Abduction of Europa. Remarkably, parts of this scene are beneath the painting’s surface, and can be detected using scientific imaging. This discovery has provided a unique window into Potter’s artistic choices and a rare engagement with a mythological subject. Scientific investigation on both Head of a White Bull and The Bull will be led by an expert team of specialists from the National Gallery of Ireland and the Mauritshuis, using technologies to study the paintings beneath their surfaces in unprecedented detail. 

    AMSTERDAM AS SEEN BY VAN GOGH IN 1885

    Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

    Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), View of Amsterdam from Central Station, 1885, On loan from the P. and N. de Boer Foundation, 2024.

    This view of Amsterdam from Central Station by Van Gogh is one of three works by the artist to go on display today at the Rijksmuseum. They are on long term loan from the P and N de Boer Foundation in Amsterdam. Van Gogh painted this view of Amsterdam while on his way to visit the Rijksmuseum, which had recently opened. From today, the loaned Van Gogh works –  Riverbank with Trees (1887) and Wheat Field (1888) – will hang together in the museum alongside his self-portrait from the Rijksmuseum collection. 

    After saving up for a long time, in October 1885 Van Gogh travelled from Nuenen to Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum, which had only recently opened. He was very impressed by the paintings of Frans Hals – especially Militia Company of District XI – but was completely blown away by Rembrandt’s The Jewish Bride. Van Gogh described Rembrandt as a poet, writing: ‘[I would] gladly give up ten years of my life to sit in front of the painting for two weeks, eating only a stale crust of bread.’ Van Gogh had brought his painting materials with him to Amsterdam, and on the morning of his visit he applied just a few colours with rapid brushwork to capture the view of the Singel canal and the Cupola Church. This is one of only a few city views that Van Gogh painted in this period. 

    ART OF THE ISLAMIC AND INDIAN WORLDS AT CHRISTIE’S IN LONDON

    Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

    A Rare Mughal Silk Rug, The Deccan, South India, Early 18th century of ‘Flower in Lattice’ design, (Estimate £120,000-160,000 | US$160,000-200,000

    This rare Mughal silk rug is among the highlights at Christie’s bi annual Spring sale of Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds including rugs and carpets in London on April 25. It was formerly in the collection of Senator William A. Clark in 1910, who gifted it to the Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington.  Works include paintings, ceramics, metal work, works on paper, arms, textiles and rugs and carpets from across the Islamic world, spanning the Silk Route linking China to the West dating from the 10th to the 20th centuries. There are over 100 rare and collectible rugs and carpets in the sale. Another highlight is a rare and complete illustrated manuscript copy of the Khamsa of Nizami (d.1209) together with the Khamsa of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d.1325). This splendid manuscript copy of the two Khamsas is an outstanding example of Safavid manuscript production in the first half of the 17th century. 

    A rare and complete illustrated manuscript copy of the Khamsa of Nizami (d.1209) together with the Khamsa of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d.1325) (Estimate £500,000-700,000 / US$640,000-890,000).

    CROUCHING DYER, HIDDEN BACON

    Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

    Francis Bacon’s haunting Portrait of George Dyer Crouching comes up at Sotheby’s contemporary art evening auction in New York in May. It is the first in a series of ten monumental portraits of Dyer created between 1966 and 1968 and it has never been on the auction market before. Dyer is portrayed shirtless, crouched over his discarded shirt like a predator over his prey, his head depicted in triplicate as it turns towards the viewer, combining Dyer’s face with Bacon’s, nodding to their indivisibility. This image of the entwined head is among the best examples within Bacon’s oeuvre – a significant motif that would persist throughout his work. The revolutionary impact that Dyer and Bacon had on each other’s lives can be felt palpably here, as the first painting in a series that would, over years, chronicle the seduction and sadness, frustration and fulfillment, tension and collapse that underlined one of the most tempestuous relationships in art history.

    It was acquired from The Marlborough Gallery in 1970 and has not been on the market since. It is the first full-scale portrait of Dyer at auction since another from this same cycle, George Dyer Talking, sold in 2014 for $70 million – establishing the record for any single-panel portrait by Bacon. The centerpiece of Francis Bacon: Man and Beast held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2022 Portrait of George Dyer Crouching is estimated at between $30 million and $50 million.