Forum Auctions is delighted to offer several exemplary works in its upcoming sale of Editions and Works on Paper 1500–2021 on Thursday 17th March 2022. A work by the ever-popular English artist Damien Hirst (b. 1965) titled Virtues comprises the complete set of eight laminated giclée prints, dating from 2021, notably with matching edition numbers.
Virtues features eight cherry blossom prints, each named after one of the eight Virtues of Bushidō according to Nitobe Inazō‘: Honor, Mercy, Politeness, Control, Justice, Courage, Honesty and Loyalty.
With a nod to pointillism, action painting, and impressionism, the Cherry Blossoms symbolize the natural joy of spring. In colors and on aluminum composite panels, each is signed in pencil and with matched edition numbers from the respective editions of each work. Published by HENI Editions, the set carries an estimate of £80,000-£120,000.
Another top highlight is a work by one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century, David Hockney (b. 1937). Hockney is known for experimenting across mediums: from drawing, printmaking, and photography, to painting and digital experimentation. His subjects range from landscapes to portraits and still lifes. His highly popular works encapsulate much of what is around him, from friends and acquaintances to animals. The work in the sale, titled Waiter, Alexandria, portrays a figure in bright colors captured in colored pencil and graphite on wove paper. It dates from 1963 and has an estimate of £50,000-£70,000.
Another visually impressive and important highlight is a large-scale work by the British artist and novelist Harland Miller (b. 1964), who is famed for painting canvases that depict Penguin book covers, a theme that enables him to delve into the interactions between images, text, meaning, and a subject that he experiments with in his mixed-media and sculptural works.
Miller captures his audience’s attention, not just by his visual motifs, but also by his smart use of interwoven language, such as his cleverly devised book titles that appear in his works, often making a statement on classical, or contemporary literature, or topical subjects. This is demonstrated by the work in the upcoming sale. Titled Save the Penguin, the work bears the slogan ‘There’s plenty More Plastic Bags in the Sea’, a cynical take on ‘Plenty More Fish in the Sea,’ and the environmental effect of modern plastic use. This unique pigment print extensively hand-colored in graduating blue and white acrylic with graphite additions is signed and dated 2020. It has an estimate of £30,000-£50,000.
Over at Dreweatts is an equally impressive sale that includes the discovery of a new work by one of the most important British artists of the 20th century, the esteemed British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986). After two years of working with the Henry Moore Foundation and the family of the owner, former Publisher and Editor of The Architectural Review Hubert de Cronin Hastings (1902-1986), the sculpture, titled Mother and Child which has now been authenticated.
Commenting on the discovery, Dreweatts’ specialist Francesca Whitham, said: “It has been such a fascinating journey working with this rare Henry Moore sculpture. I was elated, after many months of delays due to covid restrictions, to finally receive the letter from the foundation authenticating the piece as a genuine Moore. Dreweatts are honored to bring this sculpture to the market for the very first time, presenting an opportunity to purchase a unique and rare sculpture by one of the most important British artists of the 20th century.”
The foundation was able to link the work to a sketch of the sculpture by Moore already held in its’ records, titled Eighteen Ideas for Sculpture, which he produced in 1939.
The sculptural group is believed to have been gifted to Hubert de Cronin Hastings directly by Henry Moore, as they met through The Architectural Review, via Moore’s friend Jim Richards, Assistant Editor of the magazine at the time, who had befriended Moore after writing an article on his work for the magazine in 1934. The sculpture was passed down by Hubert to his son, John Hastings in the 1970s, remaining on his mantlepiece amongst an eclectic mixture of objects until he passed away in 2019.
The work is also considered an extremely rare piece as it is cast in lead, which was a material the sculptor only used for a short period in the 1930s, during a time in his career when he was experimenting with other materials such as string and wire for his series of stringed sculptures. Mother and Child is believed to be a preliminary design for one of these stringed sculptures, which explains the unusual markings on the front of the sculpture, which add to its’ joyful and playful nature.
Mother and Child is a stunning figural group in trademark Moore semi-abstract style. Formed in lead, the work has been dated to 1939-1940 and will be offered in Dreweatts Modern & Contemporary Art sale on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, with an estimate of £30,000-£50,000. However, due to the popularity of works by the artist and the rarity of this type of work from the artist’s oeuvre, it may achieve much more.
Commenting on the quality of the sales, Stephan Ludwig, CEO across both the Dreweatts and Forum auctions business, said: “These two auctions of Modern & Contemporary artworks taking place on 16th and 17th March underscore one of the many rationales for the merger of Dreweatts and Forum Auctions. With a combined £1,500,000 anticipated sales total, spanning fine art, sculpture, and prints, we are pleased to be delivering on our objective to grow across all sectors of the art market.”