W ith paintings, works on paper, sculpture, prints, photographs, design and studio and contemporary ceramics by the best artists and makers working in the UK in the 20th and 21st centuries, Made in Britain celebrates the very best of British creativity, with something for everyone at every price point.
This September's Made in Britain sale is led by an exceptional ceramic by Dame Magdalene Odundo, following the auction world record achieved at Sotheby's in June 2021. Other highlights of the auction include four of Bridget Riley's seminal plexiglass Fragments from a private UK collection, an exceptional painted Anthony Caro floor sculpture, previously in the collection of Clement Greenberg, and an outstanding collection of British photography showcasing the very best artists working in this field throughout the 20th century.
Dame Magdalene Odundo, Untitled (A Large Vase)
"What is so beautiful about the pot is that it conveys a universal language, that of spiritual utility and aesthetic. It is revered and understood by all and therefore important to all...What else can tell you about human life more than a pot does?"
We are delighted to include in our sale another exquisite work by Dame Madgaelene Odundo, following the world record price we achieved in June. Odundo is undoubtedly one of the most important and celebrated ceramicists working in Britain today. Her dedication to hand-building her pots from a ball of clay – a slow, complex and methodical process – is essential to the final form and feeling of her works. Equally integral is the surface and colour of her vessels, achieved by refined polishing and controlled oxygenation during the firing process.
"When the firing works, it can be magical. All of a sudden, each vessel, bowl or urn defines itself with its own identity. It is here that they establish their own lives."
Odundo’s distinct approach, combined with the universal human spirit she invests in her pieces – "it is a humanity we want to imbue in that thing we are making as an object" – demonstrably re-asserts the value and significance of this ancient craft.
"Made in Britain but shaped by a global outlook, Odundo’s work pushes against any attempts to define it geographically, preferring instead to speak in a language that transcends place and time."
One of Britain's most prolific printmakers, David Hockney mastered traditional techniques such as etching and lithography early in his career as a student at the Bradford School of Art and the Royal Academy. For decades since, driven by his passion for innovation, Hockney has experimented with cutting edge technologies, exploring the possibilities of new media while staying loyal to established methods of intaglio and planographic printmaking. The selection of Hockney highlights in this sale includes his earlier work, alongside more recent and inventive 'hand-made' prints created on colour copy machines, his coveted iPad drawings, and a monumental photographic drawing, The Chairs.
The diverse selection of Riley prints on offer surveys pivotal moments in the Op Art pioneer's career. For nearly 60 years Riley has been devoted to printmaking and has pushed the boundaries of screenprinting with inventive and technically complex works on a range of materials. She broke the mould in the 1960's with her Fragments series, a group of experimental screenprints on Plexiglas, then a relatively new material which most artists would have overlooked. Since then, she has explored the interaction of shape, space, and colour on paper, creating mesmerising and seemingly three-dimensional works on two-dimensional surfaces.
A Life Less Ordinary: Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe on Pink Floyd, Politics and Pterodactyls
Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe on Pink Floyd, Politics and Pterodactyls
Made in Britain contains several works by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, who has delighted newspaper readers and moviegoers around the world for six decades. In this episode of A Life Less Ordinary, find out how childhood asthma helped Scarfe take up painting, learn how a caricature of the Prime Minister propelled him to stardom, and discover the serendipitous events that shaped his collaborations with Pink Floyd and Disney.