In Sotheby’s April 2017 Made in Britain auction, Chris Levine made headlines when Lightness of Being, his illustrious portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, soared past its high estimate, becoming the top lot at £187,500. The meditative image, achieved by accident, resulted from Jersey Heritage, who in 2004, commissioned a portrait that would signify the modern relationship between the island and the crown. Considered a wild card, Levine was selected for his holographic work. This March admirers of Levine’s magnetic depiction of The Queen can acquire two iterations in Prints & Multiples Online (2–16 March, Online). “My Queen portrait became so famous people assumed I was a photographer, whereas I use a camera in my work as an artist journeying in Light,” Levine told Sotheby’s. Ahead, discover more about Levine’s experiential discipline, the process of styling Her Majesty and the subject who most intimidated him – hint, it’s not The Queen.
In October 2017, Sotheby’s were honoured to offer for auction a selection of works belonging to the late Howard Hodgkin, a painter who shaped the course of the British art scene and counted contemporaries – including David Hockney, Peter Blake and Patrick Caulfield – among his friends. Friendship was always important to Hodgkin and this was showcased in one of the highlights of the sale – his 1960 painting Bedroom, which depicted the artist together with his wife Julia and a mysterious figure known only at the time only as ‘a Mrs Burt’.
In our upcoming sale Made in Britain (20 March, London), Sotheby’s is delighted to be including a selection of paintings and works on paper from the personal collection of Roger Mayne, one of the leading photographers of the 20th century who is most well-known for his candid photographs depicting Post-War Britain through poor urban communities in cities including London, Leeds, and Sheffield. His most celebrated works are of Southam Street, W10, taken between 1956 and 1961, which document daily life on the street with particular focus on children, whose exuberance he contrasts with the urban squalor in which they lived. These works are considered one of the most important photographic surveys of city life in fifties Britain.
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