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    Monday, April 25th, 2022

    Stacks of hay and corn, once a familiar sight  throughout the length and breadth of Ireland, have now virtually disappeared from our landscapes.  This oil on canvas board by Edith Somerville (1858-1949) (one half of the Somerville and Ross writers who created the popular Irish RM books) evokes memories of the way we were, when farming was less mechanised, more labour intensive and more sociable.  The undated west Cork scene entitled Cornstacks, Sandycove, Castlehaven comes up as lot 51 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online evening sale of Irish and International Art on April 26 with an estimate of 1,500-2,500.  This fascinating sale with offerings by everyone from Paul Henry and Frank McKelvey to Keith Haring and Andy Warhol is on view at the Minerva Suite at the RDS in Dublin until today. UPDATE: THIS MADE €4,200 AT HAMMER


    Friday, April 22nd, 2022
    TONY O’MALLEY HRHA (1913-2003) – Hawks Searching Corn (1968). UPDATE: THIS MADE €11,500 AT HAMMER

    Hawks Searching Corn by Tony O’Malley is lot number 14 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale of Irish and International Art  on April 26. Viewing for this fascinating sale is now underway at the RDS in Dublin. The estimate for this painting is 5,000-7,000.

    (See posts on for April 16, 13 and 3, 2022)


    Saturday, April 16th, 2022
    Best Buddies (1990) by Keith Haring  UPDATE: THIS MADE €56,000 AT HAMMER

    From Paul Henry to Robert Ballagh, Colin Middleton to Tony O’Malley, not to mention Keith Haring and Ai Weiwei the upcoming sale of Irish and International Art by Morgan O’Driscoll is one of the most interesting auctions of the year to date. A quintessential Paul Henry – An Irish Bog – will highlight the April 26 online auction of 183 lots. Henry’s painting dates to 1939 and it featured on the cover of An Irish Journey by Sean O’ Faolain.

    In the summer of 1939 the writer and the artist had toured Ireland together.  Each had become the source of some disapproval in a country grown increasingly narrow minded.  O’Faolain’s Bird Alone had been banned for indecency three years earlier and Henry, having separated from his wife Grace in 1930, was in a relationship with the painter Mabel Young.  Undaunted, the author went on to found the literary magazine The Bell in 1940 and Paul Henry is now one of our most celebrated painters.  An Irish Bog is estimated at €120,000-€180,000.In Ireland and elsewhere art and controversy are often intertwined. In the late 1970’s and early ’80’s the artist Robert Ballagh made a series of paintings around and inside his Broadstone home. In a nod to Duchamp one featured his wife Betty nude descending a spiral staircase, another has the artist clad only in socks and a tee shirt. Lot 68 in the auction, Inside No. 3 After Modernisation dates to 1982 and features Ballagh sitting at a table writing with a copy of  Marx’s Das Kapital and a book on post modernism. The painting, which juxtaposes styles like Cubism, Art Deco, Abstract Expressionism and Punk, is estimated at €30,000-€50,000.

    Inside No. 3 After Modernisation by Robert Ballagh. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Calvary No. I (1983) by Tony O’Malley (€20,000-€30,000), from the estate of the late Charlie Hennessy of Cork, bears the inscription ‘After Picasso – Grunewald and O’Tunney’.  This sombre work, regarded by some critics as among his most important, refers to the 16th century Irish memorial sculptor Rory O’Tunney from Callan.  Picasso generally avoided religious subjects but he painted a crucifixion in 1930 and made a series of monochrome drawings inspired by Grunewalds 16th century masterpiece the Isenheim Altarpiece.  Another O’Malley in the sale is a radiant view of hawks over a cornfield made when he was becoming an increasingly confident artist.  Hawks Searching Corn dates to 1968.

    Colin Middleton salutes Gauguin in an intensely coloured sun baked landscape from 1953.  Castle Park is estimated at €20,000-€30,000. Keith Haring’s Best Buddies (1990), a silkscreen numbered 134 out of 200, is estimated at 50,000-70,000.  River Crabs by world renowned Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, a papercut from an edition of 250, is estimated at €3,000-€5,000.  Andy Warhols Marilyn, published by Castelli Graphics, New York as an invitation to ‘Warhol – A Print Retrospective 1963-1981’ has an estimate of €4,000-€6,000.There is work by Louis le Brocquy, Hughie O’Donoghue, George Campbell, Sean McSweeney, Dan O’Neill, Jack B Yeats, Power O’Malley, Letitia Hamilton, Neil Shawcross, John Shinnors, May Guinness, John Doherty, Gwen O’Dowd, John Behan, Edward Delaney and F E McWilliam.There is Easter viewing in Skibbereen today, tomorrow and Monday and at the Minerva Suite at the RDS from next Friday until 4 pm on April 25. 


    Wednesday, April 13th, 2022
    BRIDGET RILEY (B.1931) BRITISH – One Small Step (2009). UPDATE: THIS MADE €5,800 AT HAMMER

    One Small Step by Bridget Riley is lot number 7 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale of Irish and International Art on April 26. It is estimated at 2,500-3,500. There will be much interest in a sale that features works by Paul Henry, Colin Middleton, Tony O’Malley, Louis le Brocquy, Hughie O’Donoghue, F E McWilliam, Keith Haring, William Scott, Mr. Brainwash, Howard Hodgkin, Andy Warhol and many other artists. The sale is on view in Skibbereen from April 15-17 and at the RDS in Dublin from April 22-25. The catalogue is online.


    Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

    Prodigal Son by Hughie O’Donoghue, which comes up at Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and International art auction on April 26, is based on a poignant First World War photograph from the Imperial War Museum in London. The subject – a dazed German soldier waiting for stretcher bearers – is linked by O’Donoghue to his Kerry grandfather, countless economic migrants like him and even preserved Iron Age bodies found in bogland. According to a catalogue note by Aidan Dunne they all represent painting as an act of excavation for the artist, a means of recording lost and forgotten histories of people helplessly caught up in the currents of their time like emigration, war and disaster.  O’Donoghue, he explains, addresses the universal in the particular, the nature of life and the limitations within which people pursue their ambitions.


    Thursday, March 10th, 2022
    STEVE BURGESS (B.1960) CANADIAN – Pint and a Packet (2021). UPDATE: THIS MADE 850 AT HAMMER

    REDOLENT of a pub culture slowly returning to Ireland Pint and a acket by Canadian artist Steve Burgess is lot 6 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s off the wall online art auction which runs until March 14. The oil on board, signed and dated ’21, is estimated at 800-1,200. There is a selection of highly affordable art and sculpture on offer. The catalogue is online and the sale is on view on March 10, 11 and 14 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s offices in Skibbereen.


    Saturday, March 5th, 2022
    Anne Yeats (1919-2001) – Image of Solitude at Whyte’s (€3,000-€5,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 5,800 AT HAMMER

    With big sales in the offing by Whyte’s, Morgan O’Driscoll, de Veres and Adams and Sotheby’s actively seeking works for a major sale in Paris in May the selling year for Irish art really notches up a gear this month.  War in Ukraine notwithstanding there is at this stage little to suggest that 2022 will not equal or even surpass the stellar year that was 2021 when the market performed in a rock solid fashion.

    The evening sale of Irish and International Art by Whyte’s at Freemason’s Hall, Molesworth St., Dublin on March 7 is on view this weekend.  There is work by Paul Henry, Dan O’Neill, Colin Middleton, Sir John Lavery, Roderic O’Conor, Grace Henry, Walter Osborne, Norah McGuinness, Anne Yeats, John Shinnors, Patrick Hennessy, Patrick Scott, Louis le Brocquy, Pauline Bewick, Stephen McKenna and many others. The sale includes a selection of work from the collection of Lady Augusta Gregory with art by John and Jack Yeats, George Russell and Robert Gregory.  Among them are portraits of Robert Gregory and J.M. Synge by John Butler Yeats. The most expensively estimated work is Lobster Fishermen off Achill by Paul Henry (€200,000-€300,000).  Dan O’Neill’s Girl with Tambourine is estimated at €30,000-€50,000, as is another Paul Henry work, a west of Ireland landscape from 1929. Adam, one of three works from Louis le Brocquy’s Garden tapestries series (1999-2011) is estimated at €30,000-€40,000. A number of works on offer, like Grace Henry’s Fair Day, Connemara (€15,000-€20,000), Figure and Cottages, Carraroe by Charles Lamb (€2,000-€3,000) and Ireland’s Teardrop (The Fastnet Rock) Ciaran Clear’s atmospheric night oil complete with large sailing ship presumably headed out to the Atlantic (€3,000-€5,000), hark back to a vanishing Ireland of yesteryear. There is no shortage of contemporary art including an archival pigment print by the Cork street artist making big international waves Conor Harrington (born 1980) whose Study for the Blind Exit is estimated at €4,000-€6,000 at Whyte’s. On a completely different tack is Sir John Lavery’s 1931 oil sketch for the portrait of Hugh Lowther, the Earl of Lonsdale commissioned by the city of Doncaster. The second son, Hugh was not expected to inherit the title and his wild youth included running away from Eton to join the circus. Later in life Lonsdale promoted Doncaster race course and opened the airport, was first president of the National Sporting Club, inaugurated The Lonsdale Belt in 1909, was a senior steward at the Jockey Club and chaired the Automobile Association and Arsenal Football Club. The Lavery is estimated at €25,000-€40,000. 

    Albert Hartland (1840-1893) – Gougane Barra, Co. Cork at Morgan O’Driscoll (€400-€600). UPDATE: THIS MADE 460 AT HAMMER

    There will be viewing in Skibbereen on Monday and Tuesday for O’Driscoll’s Important Irish Art auction which gets underway at 6.30 pm on March 8.  Morgan O’Driscoll is the online sale specialist and this auction will attract a national and international following. Arthur Maderson, Evie Hone, Kenneth Webb, Markey Robinson, Bridget Flannery, Patrick Scott, Roderic O’Conor, Jack Yeats, Paul Henry, Maurice Wilks, Pauline Bewick, Sean Scully, Brian Maguire,  Mr. Brainwash, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Christo, John Behan, Siobhan Bulfin and Helen Walsh are among the artists and sculptors whose work will feature in a wide ranging sale of 264 lots in total.


    Friday, February 25th, 2022
    Andy Warhol (1928-1987) AmericanMarilyn (Announcement Castelli Graphics 1981)
    offset lithograph in colours on wove paper. UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,800 AT HAMMER

    Andy Warhol’s Marilyn lithograph comes up as lot 51 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current online auction of Important Art which runs to March 8. The signed image, printed by Colour Editions, Inc. and published by Castelli Graphics, New York, as an announcement for their exhibition ‘Warhol: A Print Retrospective 1963 – 1981’, is estimated at €4,000-€6,000. With art by Pauline Bewick, Damien Hirst, Paul Henry, Donald Teskey, Mr. Brainwash, Maurice Wilks and Cecil Maguire the sale offers a wide variety of art to collectors of every sort. The catalogue is online.


    Thursday, January 27th, 2022
    ARTHUR ARMSTRONG (1924-1996) – The Study. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,100 AT HAMMER

    The Study by Arthur Armstrong comes up at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current online sale of Irish art which runs until January 31. The oil on canvas measuring 13.6″ x 10.6″ is estimated at 600-900. The catalogue is online and the auction of 449 lots is on view in Skibbereen on today, tomorrow and Monday.


    Friday, January 21st, 2022
    DAMIEN HIRST (B.1965) BRITISH – Self Portrait (2008). UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,100 AT HAMMER

    In 2007, just before the financial crash, a diamond encrusted platinum skull by Damien Hirst was bought by an investment group for $100 million.  Cast from a 35-year-old 18th century European man and retaining the original teeth, the skull is coated with 8,601 diamonds with a large pink diamond on the forehead.

    An x-ray self portrait skull by Hirst comes up at lot 118 at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online art auction, which runs to January 24. The limited edition light box and x-rays piece is estimated at just €500-700. No diamonds this time.