Original prints offers modern and contemporary artists

Original prints by some of the best known modern and contemporary artists are included in Chiswick Auctions’ Prints and Multiples sale on February 13. Signed and limited edition works by Banksy, Henri Matisse, Laurence Stephen Lowry, Takashi Murakami, Sir Peter Blake, Tracey Emin and Sir Howard Hodgkin are offered with estimates ranging from £100 to £20,000. 

At the top end of expectations is a late Pop Art work by British artist Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005) in which he pays homage to Pablo Picasso’s renowned oil Les demoiselles d’Avignon. A visual pun on the screenprinting process, it depicts Picasso’s painting from the reverse, with the five women shown from behind. ‘I have been haunted by that painting [Les demoiselles d’Avignon] throughout my life and I needed to exorcise the ghost’ Caulfield said after completing his playful version in 1998. Printed in a bold eight colour palette in 1999, the print was issued at in an edition of 65 by the London dealership Alan Cristea Gallery. This example, signed and numbered 41/65, is estimated at £15,000 – £20,000. 

Pop Art work by British artist Patrick Caulfield

Other examples of British Pop include the 1968 Gerald Laing (1936-2011) screenprint Tracy 1968 from the well-known Baby Baby Wild Things series, numbered 81/200 in pencil, and the 2013 Peter Blake triptych 3D Circus signed and numbered 44/60 in black ink. They are guided at £3,000 – £5,000 and £5,000 – £7,000 respectively. 

The Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017) intaglio etching Night Palm from a seriesissued by Waddington Graphics in 1990-91 was inspired by the loud, brightly coloured advertisements of French poster designers. The green over yellow brush stroke in Night Palm was applied by workshop assistant Jack Shirreff who was instructed to let the paint drip ‘spontaneously’. One of the 15 artist proofs created alongside the edition of 55, it is signed with initials, dated and inscribed AP 7/15 in pencil. With other copies of the edition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Tate, London, it carries and estimate £6,000 – £8,000.  

Howard Hodgkin intaglio etching Night Palm

The sale includes nine prints from the Henri Matisse (1869-1954) Jazz art book, commissioned by publisher Elf Teraide as Matisse recovered from surgery in 1942. Printed in 1947, they mark the beginning of the artist’s work with paper cut-outs that was such a key part of his later practice. Each pochoir print from the book is estimated at £3,000-5,000, the works are in excellent condition showcasing Matisse’s expert use of vibrant colour. L’Enterrement de Pierrot (The Funeral of Pierrot) and L’Avaleur de sabres (The Sword-Swallower) are particularly charming in their depiction of lively yet violent circus performances.  

 Prints by Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887-1976), many of them issued in the last years of his life, are another perennial collecting favourite. Market Scene in a Northern Town from anunnumbered edition of 750 published in 1972, is signed by the artist in pencil. It has an estimate of £3,000 – £5,000. 

A print of 'Market Scene in a Northern Town' by LS Lowry

 Many ‘entry-level’ lots will appeal to those who are just beginning their collecting journey – or to furnishers simply looking to buy a print as decoration. A good example is the 1983 linocut A Midnight Snack by Edward Bawden (1903-89). Signed, titled and numbered 11/50 in pencil it has an estimate £250 – £350.