Sotheby’s Talks: Modern British & Irish Art Week

London | 20 & 21 November
Join us in our New Bond Street galleries on Sunday 20 and Monday 21 November for a series of free curated talks with artists, curators and historians which explore Britain's avant-garde artistic heritage and celebrate the launch of Jo Baring’s new collection of essays Revisiting Modern British Art published by Lund Humphries in October 2022.

Talks Schedule

Sunday 20 November, 1:00 PM
A Sense of Place in Modern British Art

Join the Director of Pallant House Gallery, Simon Martin, art historian and curator James Russell and Sotheby’s Frances Christie as they explore the importance of place for British avant-garde artists working in the early to mid twentieth century. This was a dual act of looking back to the traditional genre of landscape painting as well as looking forward to new ways of portraying their surroundings following the impact of World War I and II, where many had fled London for the safety of the British countryside.

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Sunday 20 November, 2:00 PM
Artistic Britishness? Identity and race in Modern British Art

At a time when mainstream narratives are being questioned and challenged, join curator Hammad Nasar, art historian and writer Alayo Akinkugbe and Sotheby’s Tamsin Golding Yee - moderated by Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art, Jo Baring - who reflect on the progress that has been made in the field of British art, and explore what there is still left to do. It will highlight the diversity and richness of modern and contemporary British art, and the UK’s prominent role as a past and present global cultural hub.

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Monday 21 November, 6:30 PM
The Extraordinary Michael Chow 'M'

Shanghai-born, LA based artist 'M', also known as Michael Chow, has a strong connection to London having lived here as a young man and studying at St Martins. For a special one-off conversation at Sotheby’s in London, he discusses his early friendships with fellow artists Peter Blake and Richard Lin, and making work in the late 1950s and swinging Sixties, a time of joyful excess and radical artistic innovation in the city. Fast forward to today, and M has developed his own radical approach to abstract painting which incorporates three dimensional sculptural elements and explosions of matter across the surface of the canvas. An exhibition of his expressive monumental painting is in its first days at Waddington Custot on Cork Street. The conversation will be moderated by Frances Christie, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby's UK and Jacob Twyford, Senior Director at Waddington Custot.

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Meet the Panelists

Simon Martin is Director of Pallant House Gallery, a museum of Modern British art in Chichester UK. He has written numerous books and exhibition catalogues, including on the artists Edward Burra, John Minton, Glyn Philpot, John Piper, Colin Self and John Tunnard, and historical studies such as Conflict and Conscience: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War, The Mythic Method: Classicism in British Art 1920-1950 and Drawn to Nature: Gilbert White and the Artists.


James Russell is an art historian and curator specialising in modern and contemporary British art. His exhibitions include the blockbuster Ravilious (Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2015), Century: 100 Modern British Artists (Jerwood Gallery, 2016), Reflection: British Art in an Age of Change (Ferens Art Gallery, 2019), Seaside Modern: Art & Life on the Beach (Hastings Contemporary, 2021) and Seafaring (Hastings Contemporary, 2022). He has written more than a dozen books. The Lost Watercolours of Edward Bawden (Mainstone Press) was a Sunday Times Book of the Year in 2016.


Hammad Nasar is a curator, researcher, and strategic advisor based in London. Known for collaborative, research-driven inquiry, he has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions internationally, including: Turner Prize (2021) and British Art Show 9 (2021-22). He is presently Senior Research Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre (part of Yale University), Principal Research Fellow, Decolonising Arts Institute, UAL and Lead Curator, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum (Coventry). Earlier, he was Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London; Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; and co-founded the pioneering hybrid arts organisation, Green Cardamom, London


Alayo Akinkugbe graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA in History of Art in 2021 and completed the MA in Curating The Art Museum at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2022. She is an art historian, writer and the founder of Instagram platform, @ABlackHistoryOfArt, which highlights Black artists, sitters, curators and thinkers from art history and the present day. Her aim is to continually champion emerging and forgotten Black artists from across the globe and across all periods of art history, in a bid to change the way art is taught and presented in the West, in favour of a more global and inclusive approach.

She has given talks at schools, universities and art institutions on topics that relate to the position of Blackness in Western art history, and she recently worked on the curatorial team of the groundbreaking exhibition In the Black Fantastic, at the Hayward Gallery. She was on the advisory panel and contributed to the book, African Artists: From 1882 to Now, published by Phaidon in 2021, and has also written for various arts publications including Tate Etc., AnOther Magazine and Art UK.


Jo Baring is Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art. Author for arts publications and a regular speaker at art institutions and galleries, Jo is the co-writer and co-presenter of the critically acclaimed podcast, Sculpting Lives. This podcast focusing on women sculptors was listed by The Royal Academy, The Guardian and The Evening Standard amongst others as one of the best arts podcasts. In 2016 she set up The Ingram Prize, a contemporary art prize that has been highlighted by The Times as a Critics Choice for Visual Arts.


Frances Christie is Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s UK & Ireland and Head of Modern & Post-War British Art at Sotheby’s in London. She has been deeply involved in the sale of all major collections of 20th Century British Art at Sotheby’s in the last decade including: ‘A Life in Pictures: The Collection of Lord & Lady Attenborough’ in 2009; ‘The Evill/Frost Collection’ in 2011, which achieved the highest ever total for a sale of Modern British Art, ; ‘LOWRY: The A.J. Thompson Collection’ in 2014; ‘Daughter of History: Mary Soames and the Legacy of Churchill’ in 2014; ‘Bowie/Collector’ in 2016; ‘Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection’ in 2017 and ‘Howard Hodgkin: Portrait of the Artist’ in 2017.

Frances graduated with a degree in History of Art from Trinity College, Cambridge, and completed a Master of Arts degree in Early 20th Century British and French Art at the Courtauld Institute, London. In 2015, Frances joined the BBC Antiques Roadshow team as a specialist in pictures, she is a Trustee of the leading UK arts charity Outside In and on the advisory board of the Jerwood Foundation. Frances also serves as an auctioneer.


Tamsin Golding Yee joined Sotheby’s in 2022 as an Associate Specialist in Modern British & Irish Art at Sotheby’s in London. She previously held positions at Christie’s in London and Singapore; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and the Tate Modern in London.

Tamsin graduated with a degree in History of Art from the University of Cambridge, and then completed a Master of Arts degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, writing her dissertation on the sculptor Kim Lim. She was recently the Editorial Assistant for Jo Baring’s book Revisiting Modern British Art, published in Autumn 2022.


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