From Lucian Freud to David Hockney, the Best of Modern British Art

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Celebrating the very best in the Modern British Art scene across the disciplines of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, prints, photograph, studio ceramics and design, Made in Britain offers the perfect opportunity to acquire works by some of the century’s most celebrated and sought after artists. The 10 September sale features important works by the likes of Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Magdalene Odundo, David Hockney, Damien Hirst, David Bailey, Bridget Riley and Lucian Freud. Here we pick out a few highlights from the sale, which goes on public view on Thursday 5 September at our New Bond Street galleries.

From Lucian Freud to David Hockney, the Best of Modern British Art

  • Winifred Nicholson, Penstemons, 1927,
    Estimate £40,000–60,000
    September’s Made In Britain sale features two important paintings by Winifred Nicholson from the most important period of her career. The first wife to painter Ben Nicholson, Winifred was an accomplished colourist and painted beautiful and delicate still life paintings that in the 1920s set her apart from many of her contemporaries. In her paintings Winifred explored the relationship between colour and light, resulting in fascinating compositions that draw the viewer in.
  • Ben Nicholson, May 1955 (green chisel),
    Estimate £80,000–120,000
    During the 1930s Ben Nicholson had built up an important network of connections within the European avant-garde that was to dramatically impact his approach to painting. A pioneer of abstraction he was undoubtedly considered one of Britain’s preeminent artists by 1955, the year of this impressive painting, which sees the artist addressing his fascinating with the still life genre.
  • Dame Lucie Rie, Oval Bowl, 1955,
    Estimate £10,000–15,000
    "It is not easy to describe her simplicity of approach and the delicacy of her work… Her skills are so profound that her work appears simpler and simpler while in face becoming more and more complex." (Janet Leach describing Lucie Rie in 1981). As one of the most celebrated ceramicists of the past century, September’s sale features a breadth of works by Dame Lucie Rie from the 1950s onwards. Born in Vienna, Rie fled Nazi persecution and arrived in Britain in 1938, changing forever the landscape of studio ceramics and inspiring generations of future potters and ceramicists.
  • David Hockney, Mother, Los Angeles, December 1982,
    Estimate £10,000–15,000
    ‘I suppose I never thought the world looked like photographs, really. A lot of people think it does but it’s just one little way of seeing it.’

    David Hockney, 2004

    September’s sale features an exciting breadth of work by Hockney – from early etchings of the 1960s and ‘70s, through to photocollages of the 1980s and on to more recent iPad drawings from the last decade, at price points to suit every collector’s budget.
  • Magdalene Odundo, Untitled, 1983,
    Estimate £8,000–12,000
    The subject of the hit exhibition Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things currently showing at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, Magdalene Odundo is celebrated as one of the greatest ceramicists working today. With works that blur the lines between ceramics and sculpture, this beautiful 1983 vessel was acquired from the Craftsman Potters Association at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1983 for the princely sum of £315.
  • Angus McBean, Audrey Hepburn, 1951,
    Estimate £10,000–15,000
    British photographer Angus McBean captured this surrealist and elegant portrait of a 21 year old Audrey Hepburn, then an unknown choral girl, for an advertising commission. She left after posing for half an hour and receiving her £4 modelling fee, unaware that the display card will later be spotted in a shop-window by the British film director Thorold Dickinson who would go on to cast her in her first major film role in Secret People.
  • Barry Flanagan, Cheval à Deux Disques, 1988,
    Estimate £20,000–30,000
    Flanagan is widely recognised as one of the most important British sculptors of the past century – and like all good artists he continued to explore new mediums, techniques and subject matters. Animals are amongst his most sought-after subjects, whether his popular hares or his horses, seen here in a work dating from the late 1980s.
  • Lucian Freud, Woman with an Arm Tattoo, 1996,
    Estimate £20,000–30,000
    Praised as ‘one of the great private curatorial achievements of the past half century’ the Steinberg collection is renowned for its superb examples of postwar art. As part of September’s sale Sotheby’s is honoured to be presenting nine etchings by Lucian Freud from The Blema and H. Arnold Steinberg Collection. Focusing on the artist’s acute observational skills the etchings include some of Freud’s most sought after and accomplished portrait etchings, including sitters such as Lord Goodman, the artist’s mother and his daughter Bella.
  • Craigie Aitchison, Religious Painting II, 1977,
    Estimate £18,000–25,000
    Appearing for the first time on the open market Craigie Aitchison’s Religious Painting II was acquired from an exhibition of the artist’s work at Kettle’s Yard gallery in Cambridge in 1979 for £920. An accomplished composition, the painting draws together many key features from Craigie’s style.
  • Lynn Chadwick, Pair of Standing Figures, 1975
    Estimate £25,000–35,000
    Alongside Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, Lynn Chadwick is recognised as one of the most successful sculptors working in Britain in the past century. Part of the group that became known as The Geometry of Fear, Chadwick remained drawn to the figurative approach in his works, and in particular the relationship between the male and female forms. Pair of Standing Figures dates from 1975 and displays the artist’s great sculptural skill.
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