Peter Blake leads contemporary sale at Bellmans

West Sussex auction house Bellmans held their first Contemporary Art evening auction this month in a sale entitled ‘Expanding Horizons’, which included some of the big names of the British contemporary art scene, alongside other well-known international artists.

The auction included almost 150 lots – installation art, paintings, photography, lithographs, collages and drawings. Many of the lots went to UK private collectors.

The Alphabet Series by Sir Peter Blake (British, born 1932) from 1991 comprised 26 screenprints in colour, with each sheet signed, titled and numbered ‘Peter Blake 62/95’ . It was estimated at £5,000 – £7,000, but the hammer came down at £10,000.

Sir Peter Blake Babe Rainbow from his alphabet series

Two Frederick Gore (British, 1913 – 2009) paintings did exceptionally well. Both part of his classic Provence series – ‘Lavender in the Luberon’ from 1994 was estimated at £3,000 – £5,000, but sold for £9,000, while another oil on canvas of ‘The Lavender Distillery at Simiane-la-Rotonde’ carried an estimate of £4,000 – £6,000 and made £8,500.

Frederick Gore 'Lavender in the Luberon'
Frederick Gore’s ‘Lavender in the Luberon’

British artist John Bellany (1942 – 2013) also did well with his ‘Maid of the Forth’ selling for £7,500 against an estimate of £3,000 – £5,000 and a chalk and pastel by Scottish painter Peter Howson (born 1958), ‘Spectre of Stockholm’, achieved £2,400, against an estimate of £500-700. A pencil drawing of a wolf by Olly & Suzi, two British artists who specialise in collaborative painting of wildlife, had been estimated at £100 – £150, but the hammer went down at £750.

John Bellany 'Maid of the Forth'
John Bellany’s ‘Maid of the Forth’

Among the international artists, the top lot was by Chinese artist Zhang Huan (born 1966), when his ‘Fight a Flood’ from the Memory Door series from 2008 fetched £7,000 and went to a European art dealer, while German film director Wim Wenders’ photographs sold well above estimate. A Havana photograph had an estimate of £1,000 – £1,500 and sold for £2,400, while his photograph of Berlin Alexanderplatz sold for £1,900 against an estimate of £600 – £800.

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