LONDON - Sotheby’s is delighted to be including a rare group of Grosvenor School linocuts in our Made in Britain sale to be held on 25th March 2015. The Grosvenor School of Modern Art, founded in Pimlico in 1925, became known for their vibrant prints that celebrate – and at times interrogate – the energy of contemporary life in the inter-war years. Led by Claude Flight, the group counted Cyril Edward Power, Sybil Andrews and Lill Tschudi among its members. The artists of the Grosvenor School employed the relatively new medium of the linoleum cut to manifest a fascination with motion, dynamism and energy. As Stephen Coppel explains: ‘In the hands of Flight and his followers the colour linocut became a principal vehicle for expressing the speed and movement of the modern age. With their boldly decorative colour and geometrically reduced forms, these linocuts evoke the exuberant vitality and spirit of their era.’ (Stephen Coppel, Linocuts of the Machine Age, 1995, 11).
The remarkable collection of prints offered for sale here comprises several of the most sought-after works by Grosvenor School artists. Cyril Edward Power’s The Tube Station (lot 79) and Whence & Whither? (lot 83) are two of the most iconic and important works to have come out of the school, while Claude Flight’s Boys Bathing (lot 74) is extremely rare: only two other impressions of this subject have ever come to the market.
The collection also includes superb examples of prints by Sybil Andrews and Lill Tschudi, including: The Timber Jim (lot 77), Underground (lot 78), Jazz Band (lot 84), and the energetic and striking Sledgehammers (lot 75).
The exceptional quality of impression, dynamic subject matter and brilliant colouring of Grosvenor School linocuts – features that are particularly apparent in the works offered here – explains the now prevalent conception that these prints constitute one of the great achievements in twentieth-century British art.