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    Friday, August 30th, 2019

    Modern and Contemporary British and Irish from the collection of Patrick and Antoinette Murphy will come under the hammer across a number of sales at Sotheby’s in Paris and London. He has served as chairman for the Arts Council in Ireland and Antoinette set up the Peppercannister Gallery in Dublin. More than 30 works from their extensive collection include art by Henry Moore, William Scott, Gillian Ayres, John Bellany, Alan Davie and Sir Matthew Smith.

    As a brewer for Guinness, Patrick travelled all over the world – from London and Paris, Tokyo and New York to Kuala Lumpur and Kumasi – acquiring artworks wherever possible. He was chair on the ROSC exhibitions which introduced artists like Picasso, Lichtenstein and Rothko to Irish audiences.

    Breon O’Casey – Jungle Bird (£3,000-5,000).
    Albert Irvin – Ellington 2005 (£10,000-15,000)


    Sunday, August 4th, 2019

    Holidaymakers in west Cork can view Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale of Irish art for themselves this August weekend.  Much of the viewing for the regular online sales by the Skibbereen based auctioneer takes place online.  This one is one view right over the weekend and the online catalogue at lists 242 lots.A small Paul Henry of Turf Stacks in Connemara is one of more expensively estimated lots at 15,000-25,000 but there is much that the average punter will find more affordable than this. The sale offers contrasting styles of Irish art which includes work by Markey Robinson,Tony O’Malley, Louis le Brocquy, George Campbell, Maurice Wilks, Basil Blackshaw, Gerard Dillon, Lettia Marion Hamilton, Gladys MacCabe, Majella O’Neill Collins, Alice Maher, Sean McSweeney, Arthur Maderson and many more. 

    Paul Henry – Peat Stacks, Connemara  UPDATE: THIS MADE 36,000 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

    A selection of more than 400 lots of affordable Irish art is offered at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current online auction. The sale runs until July 1 between 6.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. and the catalogue is online.

    Banksy – Happy Chopper (print) (400-600) UPDATE: THIS MADE 500 AT HAMMER


    Monday, June 10th, 2019

    Rich pickings await collectors at two sales of Irish art in Dublin and one in London this week.  The evening sale of art and sculpture at de Veres on June 11 offers three tapestries by le Brocquy including Allegory from 1950 (60,000-90,000). This series rarely appears at auction.  There is as well a fine watercolour from his Tinkers series (40,000-60,000).The auction features work by artists like Patrick Scott, Mainie Jellett, Hughie O’Donoghue, Tony O’Malley, Robert Ballagh, Stephen McKenna and Sean McSweeney.A feature of this auction is the sculpture section, on view in the garden of The Merrion Hotel.  The first piece on view is a massive bronze GI Bear by Patrick O’Reilly standing outside the hotel on Merrion Street (80,000-120,000).

    Tinker Picking Whitethorn, a watercolour by Louis le Brocquy at de Veres  UPDATE: THIS MADE 42,000 AT HAMMER

    Interest in the work of Mary Swanzy has hugely increased in latter years, helped no doubt by her major exhibition currently at the Crawford in Cork previously on show at IMMA.  Her South of France Landscape dating from around 1915 is lot 38 at the James Adam evening sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on June 1. It is estimated at 20,000-30,000.Low Water, Spring Tide, Clifden by Jack. B, Yeats dates to 1906 and is his first oil painting, created when he was moving on from watercolour. It is estimated at 40,000-60,000 at Adams.  The sale offers a number of fine 18th and 19th century landscapes by artists including William Sadler, John Henry Campbell, Frederick Brocas and William Ashford.  Lot 62 is a  monumental bronze by Edward Delaney featured in an RTE still photograph of the poet Patrick Kavanagh in 1962.  Titled Cathedral it is estimated at 15,000-20,000.  There are abstract works by Cecil King, William Scott, Felim Egan and Michael Farrell, A Connemara Landscape by Paul Henry and a 1920’s portrait by the English painter Gerald Leslie Brockhurst of Florence Forsythe. Adams point out that a portrait of film star Merle Oberon by Brockhurst sold last year for $290,000.  Adams has a more modest estimate of 20,000-40,000 on their example.The Irish selection on offer at Bonhams Modern British and Irish art sale in London on June 12 is headed by Yeats’ Romeo and Juliet.  There are two Irish sketches by L.S. Lowry as well as works by Louis le Brocquy, Colin Middleton, Rowan Gillespie, William Scott, Sean Scully and Sir John Lavery.

    South of France Landscape by Mary Swanzy at James Adam UPDATE: THIS MADE 32,000 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, June 6th, 2019

    Upcoming at de Veres art and sculpture sale in Dublin on June 11 is Rowan Gillespie’s Portrait of a Dreamer 1982 (Homage to John Lennon) with an estimate of 40,000-60,000. Other works in this sale include a complex gold painting by Patrick Scott and a Horse with Rider by Michael Quane.  Louis le Brocquy is represented by three tapestries including ‘Allegory’ from 1950. Among the artists in the sale are Patrick Scott, Mainie Jellet, Hughie O’Donoghue, Tony O’Malley, Robert Ballagh, Stephen McKenna and Sean McSweeney. Viewing of the sculpture in this auction is to take place in the garden of The Merrion Hotel. The catalogue is online.

    Portrait of a Dreamer by Rowan Gillespie UPDATE: THIS MADE 67,500 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, May 25th, 2019

    The artist L.S. Lowry, one of Britain’s favourite painters, loved to visit Ireland. Proud of his Irish roots he made pictures dated 1956, 1964, 1969 and 1970 with scenes in Dublin, Skerries, Drogheda and Belfast. In fact this was the only country he travelled to outside Britain.

    Drogheda 1970 by L.S. Lowry UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Drogheda 1970 complete with a few small matchstick figures by Lowry comes up at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art at the RDS on May 27.  Made with coloured inks on paper and measuring just 12″ x 16″ it is estimated at 15,000-20,000.The top works in the sale of 205 lots are by Jack Butler Yeats and Paul Henry.  The Quay Workers Home by Yeats is estimated at 60,000-80,000, Henry’s Western Landscape has an estimate of 100,000-150,000. Following a very successful million euro plus sale in March, with 90% of lots sold and many works selling ahead of estimate, Whyte’s are optimistic about this upcoming auction. The catalogue is online and viewing is underway at the RDS.

    The Quay Workers Home, a 1927 work by Jack B. Yeats UPDATE: THIS MADE 68,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, May 18th, 2019

    This painting by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson – Naval Ships off Roches Point – show two frigates of the Royal Navy with a date that appears to read 1855.  The former curator of the Crawford Gallery Peter Murray reckons it to be one of the most significant works by the Cork artist.  Atkinson was born in Cove, later Queenstown and now Cobh,  around 1806 and spent his early life at sea as a ships carpenter. He became government surveyor of shipping and emigrants at Queenstown, where he was known as Captain Atkinson. He was a self taught artist whose works show a thorough knowledge of the sea. His three sons and one daughter all later became painters. Atkinson first showed at the Cork Art Union in 1841 and exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy from 1842.  The work will be displayed at the Gorry Gallery, Molesworth St., Dublin as part of an exhibition of 17th-21st century Irish art which runs from May 23 until June 8.


    Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

    Nurses (1953) by Nevill Johnson which comes up at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on May 27 is one of his few surviving paintings of the 1952-53 period. In a catalogue note Dickon Hall notes that the artist’s affection for Dublin was that of an outsider, an Englishman who had lived in Belfast for twelve years before moving there in 1946 in response to becoming one of the group of young artists whom Victor Waddington put under contract to his gallery. Hall writes: “This group of nurses relaxing in a garden suggests a specific experience seen and recalled by the artist, but by reducing each figure to their uniform Johnson emphasises the abstract formal arrangements within the composition, as well as creating a dreamlike quality that is reinforced by a muted palette lifted by unexpected pink tones”. Hall adds: “Nurses is a painting that balances satisfying aesthetic qualities with the surreal incongruity that Johnson recalled so nostalgically from his Dublin years and creates an ambiguous and mysterious mood that seems to define the elusive tone of the post-war world”. It is estimated at 10,000-15,000.


    The sale will include works by George Barret, William Leech, Sir John Lavery, William Orpen, George Russell (“AE”), Jack Yeats, Paul Henry, Lilian Lucy Davidson, Frank McKelvey, James Humbert Craig, Laurence Stephen Lowry, Colin Middleton, Louis le Brocquy, Basil Blackshaw, Hughie O’Donoghue and others.


    Monday, April 22nd, 2019

    The Birth of Modernism in Irish Art 1920-1960 is the title of an exhibition running at the State Apartment Galleries in Dublin Castle until August 18.  In his catalogue commentary curator David Britton notes that it took time before the influence of early 20th century advances in art reached these shores.  With the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922 the culturally conservative government and middle class catholics favoured art depicting west of Ireland cottages (Paul Henry), Irish agricultural workers (Sean Keating) or people at leisure as shown by William Conor or James Humbert Craig. The main exponents of Surrealism were Colin Middleton and Nevill Johnson. Mainie Jellett and Evie Hone were the first artists to promote pure Cubism in Ireland, but other Irish artists like May Guinness and Mary Swanzy had studied in Paris before Jellett and Hone’s arrival there. When Jellett first exhibited pure abstract work in 1923  there was a hostile review by the artist/poet George Russell. In 1943 Jellett was instrumental along with le Brocquy, Norah McGuinness, Jack Hanlon and others in organising the first Irish Exhibition of Living Art.  Dublin Castle is one of the leading public sites of the OPW.  Visitor numbers have been rising and reached 440,000 last year. 



    Thursday, April 18th, 2019

    The Irish and International art sale by Morgan O’Driscoll at the RDS on April 29 has been on view both in London and, for the first time, New York. The auctioneer has worked very hard over many years to enhance the international base of collectors of Irish art so it will be of great interest to see if the trip Stateside bears fruit in the way that various viewings in London have added a new dimension to these sales.

    Danish model and photographer Helena Christensen was among those who attended the New York viewing. The painting in the background is Isobel by Daniel O’Neill. UPDATE: THE O’NEILL PORTRAIT SOLD FOR 33,000 AT HAMMER