A 1953 painting by Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976), ‘Going to the Match’, has sold at Christie’s for GBP 7,846,500. It is understood that the work of art will remain in the UK and was purchased by The Lowry gallery in Salford, where it was displayed for many years by the Players Foundation. Going To The Match is a lively rendition of football fans of Bolton Wanderers entering the stadium. However, the foundation said the financial crisis meant it was forced to sell the 1953 painting.
It was among a series of paintings that went on sale at Christie’s earlier and sold for a hammer price of £6.6m with an additional buyer’s premium of £1.2m. Other important 20th-century British works from the Modern British & Irish Art Evening Sale on 19 October were also sold. Critical artists from the period include the dynamic sculpture of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore and paintings by Ben Nicholson and Frank Auerbach. Wrapping up this auction line-up. British Surrealist works by Eileen Agar and Roland Penrose and paintings by the celebrated Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant offered a solid conclusion for a formidable season.
Ai Weiwei and Peter Doig Donate Works To Benefit WWF
WWF has announced Tomorrow’s Tigers 2022, a major fundraising project with a selling exhibition featuring specially commissioned, limited-edition art rugs by 12 internationally renowned artists, including a limited-edition art rug by Peter Doig and a unique, one-of-a-kind art rug by the leading Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Tomorrow’s Tigers 2022 is a brand-new phase of a critically acclaimed project, devised and curated by Artwise Curators, working with specialist rug producers Christopher Farr. These highly collectable artworks will be exhibited at Sotheby’s, London from 24th – 29th November 2022.
Participating Artists: Ai Weiwei, Peter Doig, Francesco Clemente, Reena Saini Kallat, Maya Lin Raqib Shaw, Rose Wylie, Bernard Frize, Gary Hume, Anish Kapoor, Harland Miller, Kiki Smith
Coinciding with this year’s Lunar Year of the Tiger and the culmination of the global TX2 commitment to double wild tiger numbers, Tomorrow’s Tigers’ goal is to pass £1 million generated in sales of art rugs since the project’s launch and highlight the continued threat to wild tiger populations and the ongoing work of WWF internationally to address this. Led by Artwise Curators in partnership with WWF, Tomorrow’s Tigers is also the featured project for Art For Your World in 2022. Art For Your World works with the art world to help tackle the climate and nature crisis. It supports five key WWF projects and work areas, including protecting habitats and species – with this year’s focus being tiger landscapes.
Artwise has entrusted rug experts Christopher Farr with their in-depth knowledge of antique rugs and extensive experience producing limited-edition art pieces to realise and interpret each artist’s vision as faithfully as possible. Utilising their network of master artisans, each original artwork is translated into natural wools and silks and created by hand, combining traditional and innovative weaving techniques.
Taking inspiration from the increasingly rare antique tiger rugs of Tibet, these exquisite rugs push the art form’s boundaries, with each artist responding to both the splendour and the grave plight of tigers in the wild to create their own vision of what a tiger rug could be.
Speaking about his rug, Tyger and his support for Tomorrow’s Tigers, Ai Weiwei commented, “For many years, I have been actively researching on and documenting the human-animal relationship, so it is a theme that I am familiar with. I also have had a long-term interest in Tibetan rugs and the motif of tigers on them for a long time. That’s why I accepted WWF’s invitation without hesitation.
Ai Weiwei will also be curating a new exhibition for the Koestler Arts FREEDOM 27 October – 18 December 2022 Southbank Centre Exhibition Space, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall
The volume of artworks displayed in Freedom at the Southbank Centre is a big celebration of artwork from criminal justice settings. Ai Weiwei’s design comprises fifteen cell spaces based on the size of a typical cell in a UK prison, which roughly measures 1.8m by 3m. Each cell contains a multitude of work, with the smallest containing 78 and the largest having 131. Alongside paintings and drawings, visitors will see artworks from various art forms, including calligraphy, graphic design, hairstyling and needlecraft. Visitors might also notice unusual materials in place of traditional ones; prison bedsheets used as canvases, Marmite used to create a portrait or sand used to create a landscape. Artwork will be purposefully left unframed to respect further the original environment within which it was made. In addition, there will be moments during the day when quotes from displayed artists will be played out loud in several cells. These quotes are read by individuals currently involved in Koestler Arts’ Mentorship Scheme, where artists who are now in the community are paired with a mentor to help develop their practice. These intermittent recordings aim to reflect the sounds of unplanned comings and goings that enter prison cells – through the pipes of a shared plumbing system, the bars on the window or the slat in the door. Unplanned sounds link the people inside the cell with life and activity outside it.
Tomorrow’s Tigers Curated by Artwise for WWF 24.11.22 – 29.11.22 At Sotheby’s London 34-35 New Bond Street London W1A 2AA UK
Image: Ai Weiwei with his rug, The Tyger. Image (c) Thierry Bal. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei