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    Thursday, May 27th, 2021
    ERIC HENRI KENNINGTON (1888-1960) An Infantryman. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £14,000

    The first-ever sale by an international auction house dedicated exclusively to a celebration of the male form in art takes place at Bonhams in London on June 16. It ranges from Antiquities and Old Master painting to sculpture and decorative arts, from contemporary art to photography.

    The sale is curated by Bonhams Greek Art Specialist Anastasia Orfanidou and Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts, Matthew Haley, who said: “This exciting new concept challenges a market that has traditionally been centred around the western concept of the male gaze. It will explore how women look at men and how men look at other men, introducing a fresh context and platform that will spark new discussions on an historically unspoken market.”

    Among the highlights is Atlas Beach by Patrick Hennessy (Irish, 1915-1980) which depicts the terrace of well-known gay bar The Charles Atlas Beach Bar, which overlooks Tangier City Beach, Morocco. It is estimated at £5,000-£7,000. 

    Atlas Beach by Patrick Hennessy. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £9,562


    Sunday, December 2nd, 2018
    THIS has been the best year ever on the Irish art market in terms of turnover and it continues on its merry way in the final run up to Christmas.  The James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin next Wednesday evening offers a selection that includes leading lots by Oisin Kelly, Roderic O’Conor, Gerard Dillon, Augustus John, Michael Farrell, Erskine Nicholl, Louis le Brocquy and Henry Moore.
    The top estimate in this auction is for Oisin Kelly’s bronze Children of Lir cast in 1983 at the Dublin Art Foundry as an issue of two.  It is from the original maquette for Kelly’s large scale bronze at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin dedicated by Taoiseach Jack Lynch in 1971. The other copy is on display outside the Taoiseach’s office at Government Buildings. This one is estimated at 30,000-50,000.
    A bronze relief of a mother and child and reclining figure by Henry Moore is estimated at 12,000-16,000.  The catalogue cover lot is another sculpture, F.E. MacWilliam’s Peace B from his Banners series (8,000-12,000) and there is sculpture by Rowan Gillespie, Rory Breslin, Imogen Stuart, Robin Buick, Edward Delaney, Eamon O’Doherty, Selma McCormack and James McIntyre.

    Paintings range from a self portrait by Augustus John (20,000-30,000) to an interior still life by Patrick Hennessy (7,000-10,000) and a seated model by Roderic O’Conor (30,000-40,000) to Battersea Boy by Louis le  Brocquy (10,000-15,000). There is a bright Malaga work by William Crozier (5,000-8,000) and a photo realist painting by John Doherty of part of two houses at Eyeries in west Cork (5,000-7,000).  There are landscapes, portraits and studies by artists ranging from Gerard Dillon, Peter Collis, Dan O’Neill, George Campbell, Peter Curling and William Conor to Percy French, Edwin Hayes, James Arthur O’Connor and William Sadler.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    Oisin Kelly RHA (1915-1981) Children of Lir  UPDATE: THIS MADE 36,000 AT HAMMER

    Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980) Interior, Still Life with a Vase of Flowers on a Chair  UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER

    John Doherty – Eyeries, west Cork  UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,600 AT HAMMER

    Howard Helmich (1845-1907) – Reluctant Pupil  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200 AT HAMMER

    Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

    Brian Friel was a fan of the Cork artist Patrick Hennessy, one of whose paintings The Yew Walk was acquired by The National Gallery of Ireland at Sotheby’s in London last week for 9,794 euro. The playwright’s widow Anne Friel is donating the proceeds of the sale 23 paintings at James Adam in Dublin on September 26 to the Peter McVerry Trust which has been at the forefront of helping homeless people for many years.

    Among them are four Hennessy’s including two major works featuring horses, Herding the Horses and Ruin and Horsemen. Estimates are around 7,000 and 6,000 respectively. Another highlight of the Anne Friel donation is Basil Blackshaw’s Game Cock bought as a gift for her husband as she thought the bird had the look of a survivor about it.  Pictured here is Herding the Horses.  UPDATE: THIS MADE 10,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, September 3rd, 2016
    The Irish art market took a hit in the recession.  It is recovering slowly, but there is still value to be had. One example of this is Kinsale by Letitia Marion Hamilton, which comes up at Morgan O’Driscoll’s auction on September 12.  When it last appeared at auction at Whyte’s in 2002 it realised 7,500.  This time around it is estimated at 4,000-6,000. One of Ireland’s best known women artists Hamilton, who died in 1964, studied under Sir William Orpen at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, with Frank Brangwyn in Belgium and at the Slade in London.

    Among the other artists whose work will feature are Patrick Scott, John Shinnors, Tony O’Malley, Basil Blackshaw, Frank McKelvey, Daniel O’Neill, Hughie O’Donoghue, Patrick Hennessy and the sculptor John Behan. The sale of 135 lots is on view in Skibbereen on September 3, 4 and 5 and at the RDS in Dublin from September 9 to September 12.  The catalogue is online and the auction will be conducted online.

    Kinsale by Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964) (4,000-6,000)

    Kinsale by Letitia Marion Hamilton RHA (1878-1964) (4,000-6,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    The Yellow Roses by Patrick Hennessey (1915-1980) (5,000-7,000)

    The Yellow Roses by Patrick Hennessey (1915-1980) (5,000-7,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER


    Thursday, March 24th, 2016

    Solo exhibitions from Irish artist Patrick Hennessy and Italian artist Carol Rama opened today at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Born in the same decade both were neglected by the official art circles of their time. One a realist painter the other not faithful to any particular movement Hennessy and Rama explore human sexuality, gender and identity while challenging the political and social culture of their time.

    Patrick Hennessy De Profundis is the first major exhibition of his work since 1981. Re-examining and repositioning Hennessy’s work as part of the IMMA Modern Irish Masters Series this exhibition reflects on what Hennessy’s work might mean to audiences today. At a time when gay men were subject to social and legal persecution for the simple fact of their sexual orientation, Hennessy and his lifelong partner Henry Robertson-Craig bravely chose to exhibit works that clearly marked them as homosexual. They have almost no peers in Irish art, but Hennessy’s late work demonstrates an engagement with the emerging international queer-art movement of the 1970s. The Hennessy show runs to July 24.

    The Passion According to Carol Rama is an exhibition of almost 200 works – the largest exhibition of the artist’s work to date. It comes to Dublin following exhibitions in MACBA, Barcelona, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, and EMMA, Finland. Ignored for decades by official art history, Carol Rama is now recognised as essential for understanding developments within contemporary art. Her influence can be seen in the work of a later generation of artists such as Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, Sue Williams, Kiki Smith and Elly Strik. Rama was belatedly recognised in 2003, receiving the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious international art exhibitions. Divided into four thematic sections this exhibition is a guide through Rama’s many creative moments.  This exhibition runs to August 1.

    Carol Rama  (1918-2015) Appassionata, 1939. Private Collection. © Photo: Studio Dario & Carlos Tettamanzi © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino

    Carol Rama (1918-2015) Appassionata, 1939. Private Collection. © Photo: Studio Dario & Carlos Tettamanzi © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino

    Patrick Hennessy (1915-80) Kassim by the Sea, 1978. Image courtesy of Whytes, © The Artist’s Estate

    Patrick Hennessy (1915-80) Kassim by the Sea, 1978. Image courtesy of Whytes, © The Artist’s Estate



    Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

    Roderic O'Conor (1860 - 1940) Still Life Study with Fruit and Pottery on a Mahogany Table

    Roderic O’Conor (1860 – 1940)
    Still Life Study with Fruit and Pottery on a Mahogany Table

    A still life by Roderic O’Conor was the top lot at the James Adam sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin last night. It sold for 48,000 at hammer in a sale which continued a good week of auction results for Irish art in Dublin.  The market is definitely turning.  There was more competitive bidding this season than has been seen for some time and the top lots at Adams, de Veres and Whyte’s all witnessed it. Nearly three million euro worth of Irish art has changed hands since Monday at three auctions in Dublin.

    Top of the Falls and The Creole by Jack Butler Yeats sold for 36,000 and 35,000 respectively at Adams. Other top hammer prices include: Composition XIII by Mainie Jellett (27,000); Portrait of Pamela Mitford by Paul Cesar Helleu (20,000);  Diane by Daniel O’Neill (21,000);  The Pillar by Rowan Gillespie (19,000); Girl at the Piano by John Shinnors (13,000); The House at Dalkey by Camille Souter (13,000); The House Opposite by William John Leech (12,000);  Motherhood by William Conor (10,000);  Bridge over the River by Donald Teskey (10,000); St. Martins by Tony O’Malley (8,000); A Horse Alone by Patrick Hennessy (9,000) and Uaimh 55 by Gwen O’Dowd (4,700).


    Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

    Self portrait by Patrick Hennessy at Whyte's. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS MADE 2,200

    A brace of portraits by Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980) grace Whyte’s Irish and British art sale at the RDS in Dublin on March 14.  One is a self portrait from 1936 exhibited at a Birmingham exhibition sponsored by Winsor and Newton Ltd.  It is inscribed with an exhibition label with the artist’s address [9 Bridge Street, Arbroath, Angus] and price [£7-7-0] on reverse. It is now estimated at €2,500-€3,500.

    The second is a 1939 portrait of Liv Hempel, daughter of the German Ambassador to Ireland. It was made at De Vesci Terrace in Dun Laoghaire, the ministerial residence of Eduard Hempel (1887–1972) who was Adolf Hitler’s representative in Dublin between 1937 and 1945.  During his eight year tenure Hempel sent thousands of reports to Berlin by telegraph and shortwave radio.  He had to surrender the transmitter in December 1943 at the insistence of the Department of External Affairs, and under pressure from the United States and United Kingdom.  Hempel was granted asylum in Ireland at the end of the war. He returned to Germany in 1949.  This portrait is estimated at €2,000-€3,000.

    Liv Hempel by Patrick Hennessy at Whyte's. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,800

    The artist Patrick Hennessy was born in Co. Cork. He won a scholarship to Dundee College of Art and a further scholarship allowed him study in Paris and Rome.   In 1939, he exhibited a self-portrait and a still-life at the Royal Scottish Academy and returned to Ireland as a professional painter, dividing his time between Cork and Dublin. In 1956, Hennessy had his first solo exhibition in London, displaying nearly 40 paintings, including several portraits. In 1957, the Ritchie Hendriks Gallery staged an exhibition of his flower paintings. More shows followed in Dublin, Chicago and Cork. Meantime, Hennessy continued to make trips abroad. He made regular visits to Paris, Normandy, the Dordogne, as well as Belgium, Holland and Spain. He also toured Italy and Greece.
    Farewell to Ireland by Patrick Hennessy which shows President John F. Kennedy boarding Air Force One at Shannon Airport on June 29th, 1963 after a visit to his ancestral homeland is currently on sale at the M.S. Rau Gallery in New Orleans priced at $98,950.
    His work is in a number of public and private collections, including: University College, Dublin; Hugh Lane Art Gallery; Irish Museum of Modern Art; National Gallery of Ireland; Office of Public Works; Crawford Art Gallery; Limerick City Art Gallery and Limerick University National Self-Portrait Collection.
    (See post for January 27)