‘La Guerre des Trous’ ‘The War of Holes’ - New World Record for Drawing by Christopher Nevinson A poignant first World War drawing by official War Artist for the British Government, Christopher Nevinson, set a new world record for a work on paper by the artist at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auction’s
some of the largest the artist ever produced. Completed in December that year, they reflect the artist's fascination of the interplay between the two-dimensionality of the drawn image, and the three-dimensional effect created by the application of variably sized ben-day dots. The effect in ‘Two Nudes’ is particularly successful, giving a genuine sense of depth to the image.
In an interview in 1997 with David Sylvester Lichtenstein said: "It's a little bit the way chiaroscuro isn't just shadows but a way of combining the figure and the background, or whatever is near it in a dark area… You're not confined to the object pattern, but the subject matter excuse for this is that it's a shadow, and that's interesting to me." [Lot 250]
Another Lichtenstein print, ‘Sunrise’ attracted a great deal of interest and strong pre-sale bidding prior when international clients were offered the alternative of leaving bids online using the services of www.paddle8.com. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions offer buyers access to a range of online bidding
platforms, but this sale was the first time the auction was listed with this collaborator. Signed by the artist, the 1965 offset lithograph printed in colour sold for £5,952. [Lot 249]
American artist Cy Twombly is known for his large-scale calligraphic style paintings and an untitled print, signed in pencil by the artist, sold for £32,240. Two European and one American bidder battled on the telephone to secure the picture, with it being purchased ultimately by the buyer from New York. The 1969/71 screenprint in colours was an artist’s proof from an edition of 100, published by Edition Domberger, Stuttgart. Twombly served in the army as a cryptologist and this influence can be seen clearly in this example, as in much of his other work.
Since his death in July 2011 Twombley is an artist whose work has been keenly sought by collectors. Alexander Hayter said: “This print was part of a series very rarely sold as separate pieces. They are of particular interest because they are very similar to his paintings and, a premium is always paid for examples in rare and perfect condition.”
A selection of prints by Andy Warhol achieved strong prices, most notably, ‘Red Lenin’, a 1987 screeenprint in colour. Signed in pencil by Frederick Hughes, the executor of Warhol’s estate, and numbered 14/24 on a stamped certificate of authenticity, it sold for £32,240 against an estimate of £15,000 – 20,000. [Lot 296]
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions next sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints will be held at their London Mayfair saleroom on Thursday the 27th March 2014.
The full catalogue for this auction is available online.
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