Made In Britain: New Sotheby’s Auction Celebrates British Creativity

Made In Britain

A Unique Sale bringing together British Art and Design from the Twentieth Century is set to take place at Sotheby’s. Made In Britain showcases great British artists and designers of fine art, sculpture, studio ceramics, photography, prints and furniture, including works by Lucian Freud, Barbara Hepworth, L.S. Lowry, Terry O’Neill, Ernest Race and David Bailey. The auction takes place in London 1 April 2014.

The inaugural Made in Britain sale celebrates the remarkable breadth of British creativity during the twentieth century, the sale will include works by established giants of Modern British artists and designers of the period. In selling these works alongside one another, Made in Britain demonstrates the link between these often isolated disciplines and emphasises the crucial role that British artists and designers played in the development of international Modernism.

Lydia Wingfield Digby, Deputy Director, Modern and Post-War British Art commented: “We’re extremely excited to be presenting a sale that moves away from the traditional separation of collecting categories. In doing so we have been able to provide a context for the pieces offered and have highlighted how many British artists represented in the auction worked and continue to work across a range of mediums. Made in Britain pays homage to the astonishing surge of creativity that Britain experienced during the twentieth century when artists were responding to the changing world around them, challenging the conventional hierarchies and divisions between fine art, craft and design. The sale provides opportunities for new collectors to enter the market, with estimates ranging from £300 – £150,000 for works by some of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century.”

British painting and sculpture sale highlights include works by L.S. Lowry, Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink, Ben Nicholson and Christopher Le Brun among others. Painter of the North – Lowry is widely celebrated for his paintings and drawings capturing the realities of life in twentieth century Britain. This is one of four drawings in the sale, all gifted by the artist to their owners – a reflection of Lowry’s legendary generosity. In 2013 Lowry was the subject of the seminal retrospective Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life at the Tate. Christopher Le Brun is one of Britain’ leading contemporary artists and current president of the Royal Academy, London. Of special significance in the year of the horse and reflecting one of the most important themes in Le Brun’s oeuvre, this painting is among the finest examples of his work to be offered at auction.

Sculptures include works by seminal figures such as Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick and an important group of sculptures by Hepworth’s former studio assistant and leading St. Ives artist Denis Mitchell. Printmaking includes technologies developed over the course of the century many artists turned to printmaking as part of their artistic production. Painter and collage maker Richard Hamilton began to focus on prints in the 1960s. Release, which is one of a group of important Hamilton prints in the sale, shows dealer Robert Fraser and Mick Jagger on their way to court after their arrest for possession of drugs. Highly documentary in tone, the work was intended as a political statement, encapsulating Hamilton’s anger at the reactionary state backlash to 1960s liberalism. Hamilton is currently the subject of a major retrospective at Tate Modern.