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Details & Cataloguing

The Robert Devereux Collection of Post-War British Art in aid of the African Arts Trust, Sale 1

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London

Lisa Milroy, R.A.
B.1959
LIGHTS 1987
signed with initials and dated '87 on the overlap
oil on canvas
203 by 285cm.; 80 by 112in.
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Provenance

Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London, where acquired by Mr Michael Green
Sale, Bonhams London, 20th June 2005, lot 79, where acquired by the present owner

Catalogue Note

The present work belongs to an important series of works executed in the mid to late 1980s focussing on groups of household objects such as Shoes (1985, Tate Collection, London), Dresses (1985, Private Collection) and in the present work, Lights, all set against a stark white background which emphasizes the colourful properties of each item, enhancing the similarities and differences between seemingly identical everyday objects. Her composition focussing on antique Handles (1988) won the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize in 1989 and speaking about that work, Milroy explained, 'its composition depends on notions of display, cataloguing and placing'; an explanation that also applies to the compositional arrangement of the present work which is also strongly related to Light Bulbs (1988, Tate Collection, London). As well as ordinary objects, Milroy's compositions have also been inspired by her travels to countries such as Japan, Greece, the United States and Italy, and in particular by the archaeological objects experienced in museums she has visited; indeed, her composition featuring Roman Coins was subsequently exhibited at the British Pavilion at the 1986 Venice Biennale (see also lots 107, 165 and 221 in The Robert Devereux Collection, Sale 2).

The Robert Devereux Collection of Post-War British Art in aid of the African Arts Trust, Sale 1

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London