British Art Evening Sale: Modern/Contemporary
Live Auction: 29 June 2021 • 2:00 PM BST • London

British Art Evening Sale: Modern/Contemporary 29 June 2021 • 2:00 PM BST • London

O ur British Art: Modern/Contemporary auction is a new, dedicated sale which unites and celebrates British artists from the early 20th century to the present day. Across a range of periods and disciplines, the sale brings together superb examples that chart the development of modern British art, including globally renowned figures alongside lesser known British masters. The works share a distinct British aesthetic yet reveal an international engagement, simultaneously being shaped and shaping wider artistic trends. Launching our summer season of sales with a public exhibition and gallery tours, we look forward to welcoming you to our galleries.


Sale Highlights

Tim Marlow at Sotheby’s Summer Season Exhibition

Freud, Hockney and Lowry Lead Celebration of British Art

Exhibition Information

Tuesday 22 June10:00 am - 5.00 pm BST
Wednesday 23 June10:00 am - 5.00 pm BST
Thursday 24 June10:00 am - 5.00 pm BST
Friday 25 June10:00 am - 5.00 pm BST
Saturday 26 June12:00 pm - 5.00 pm BST
Sunday 27 June11:00 am - 5.00 pm BST
Monday 28 June10:00 am - 5.00 pm BST
Tuesday 29 June10:00 am - 12.00 pm BST

Tour the Virtual Exhibition

British Art: Looking Out

British art, while often containing a British sensibility, has simultaneously been outward looking – a melting pot of artistic trends between Europe and America as artists have exchanged ideas, settled or moved. This has become further pronounced through the course of the 20th century as the world has becoming increasingly global. The body of works in our sale reveal these artistic exchanges and cultural developments.

John Lavery was one of the first British painters to experience directly the modern avant-garde in France at the turn of the 20th century. His painting from 1912 depicts the Lido in Venice and is full of Impressionist influences (lot 26). Edward Burra’s War in the Sun meanwhile (lot 17), powerfully responds to his at once terrifying and fascinating engagement with Spain’s Civil War and shares much with Surrealism. Ben Nicholson’s home in Hampstead in the 1930s was the centre of British Modernism (lot 31), and attracted European masters from Mondrian to Gabo. In contrast, David Bomberg’s richly expressive landscapes inspired by his travels in Spain and Cyrpus (lot 20) dramatically influenced his pupil Leon Kossoff (lot 21), whose Russian-Jewish parents had emigrated to London. Together with Frank Auerbach, they made their corner of East London their own. Away from the city, Peter Lanyon (lot 2), residing in Cornwall, was committed to an abstract representation of the landscape which shared much with the post-War generation of Abstract Expressionists in America, with whom dialogue flowed freely. Allen Jones (lot 29) and David Hockney (lot 4) fell under America’s spell in the 1960s, making their own contribution to Pop Art and bringing a riotous sense of colour to British art. At the close of the century, the Young British Artists led by Damien Hirst took up their mantle (lot 28), Hirst’s work transcending national boundaries. Into this arena Chris Ofili (lot 18) and Hurvin Anderson (lot 14) have brought vital new conversations and directions to British art. While the Bristol-born but otherwise mysterious Banksy captures the world’s imagination with his particularly brand of street art. Girl with Balloon (lot 38), voted Britain’s favourite artwork in 2017, is equally an image beloved internationally.

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