Our July sale offers a rich variety of works by Britain’s most celebrated artists across the 20th century. Highlights include a group of drawings and watercolours by David Hockney from the Estate of David Graves; early Modern British works on paper from an American private collection featuring Paul Nash, Wyndham Lewis and Edward Burra; important paintings by Alan Davie and works by Donald Hamilton Fraser from the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. and major sculpture including Moore, Hepworth, Chadwick, Armitage, McWilliam and Frink.
Working with Hockney: Property from the Estate of David Graves
David Graves and his wife Ann were lifelong friends with Hockney. Ann (nee Upton) met the young artist in the early 1960s and starting modelling for him in 1962; ‘sitting for David is a very intense experience. You have to allow your face to relax because you sit for such a long time not daring to move, and that means things show in your face.’
David Graves, a paper restorer and sculptor, met Hockney in 1975 at Glyndebourne Opera at the opening night of The Rake’s Progress for which Hockney had designed the set. By the late 1970s, Graves had become Hockney’s assistant, working on stage sets, the editioning of his composite photographs and later moved with him to Hollywood. He also started featuring in Hockney’s work from the early 1980s. In 1983 when David and Ann were married in Hawaii, Hockney acted as ‘wedding photographer’ creating numerous drawings, a photographic collage The Wedding of David and Ann in Hawaii 20 May 1983 as well as an etching of the occasion.
This year sees the release of a new edition of Unquiet Landscapes (Thames & Hudson, London) one of the finest books ever written on the relationship between art and the British Landscape. First published in 1990, Unquiet Landscapes was initially conceived after several long conversations between the author and leading British art expert Christopher Neve and Ben Nicholson on the nature of landscape in the consciousness of British society and the myriad ways in which artists have sought to represent it. Many of the artists discussed in detail by Neve in Unquiet Landscapes are included in Sotheby’s upcoming sale of Modern & Post-War British Art, including important landscapes by brothers Paul and John Nash, Graham Sutherland, Ivon Hitchens, Eric Ravilious, L.S. Lowry, and David Bomberg.