2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Julian Hartnolls career as a dealer. He is taking the anniversary as a moment to rationalise his business and has decided to sell some of his considerable stock through Holloways of Banbury
. He will continue in his gallery in Duke Street St Jamess but will focus on a smaller stock and working with clients on a commission basis.
The sale will consist of 320 framed paintings and drawings and will reflect the areas that Julian has dealt in during his career namely, paintings and drawings by John Bratby RA (1926-1992) and work by fellow kitchen sink artists Edward Middleditch (1923-1987) and Jack Smith (1928-2011); paintings and drawings by Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002) and a group of Victorian paintings, drawings and watercolours.
The Kitchen Sink painters came to prominence in post-war Britain and were so called because the subject matter they painted was a gritty depiction of the everyday and the ordinary. Kitchen Sink art reached its zenith in 1956 when the Beaux Arts Quartet John Bratby, Edward Middleditch, Derrick Greaves and Jack Smith- were invited to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale together with Ivon Hitchens and Lynn Chadwick.
Highlights from the sale include some iconic Bratby images including Jean with Teddy Bear, oil on board, 1954. In this portrait of the artist Jean Cooke, whom he married in 1953, she is depicted looking up at the artist, the upward look and the crossed hands show vulnerability and anxiety, the teddy a poignant reminder of lost innocence and security. In another later portrait of Jean, Jean Tired and Desk, oil on canvas, 1960, she is seen looking directly out of the canvas, her expression almost obliterated by paint. Texture and surface were very important to Bratby and are an integral part of the image.
Crowds, Earls Court, oil on board, by Edward Middleditch is a remarkable picture. It depicts crowds walking towards a shaft of light in an otherwise grey urban landscape. The light picks out the puddles, which glisten in the foreground whereas the crowd of grey figures have echoes of previous decades and recall the Depression and Holocaust victims being herded towards some unknown destination.
Among the Victorian pictures in the sale will be a number of paintings by George Frederick Watts (1817-1904) to include Study of the artists adopted daughter Lilian, oil on canvas, a charming idealised portrait of a young woman that captures a mood of perfect stillness and composure.
Of the forthcoming sale, Julian Hartnoll said, I am delighted to be working with Holloways. I have known Nick Williams for some time and think he runs an admirable saleroom. With the advent of the internet, geographical location is far less important than it used to be and I know he and his team will do a first class job.
The timing of the sale after the introduction of the Artists Resale Right for dead artists on 1st January 2012 is deliberate, so that Bratbys heirs and those of other artists can benefit from the sale. The cost, however, will NOT be passed on to buyers at the sale but will be absorbed by Holloways.
This is the first single owner sale we have held at Holloways, said Nick Williams, who continued, Post War British art is experiencing a long overdue resurgence of interest, with three Post War exhibitions taking place next year in London alone. Julian has a fantastic eye and I think this sale will excite great interest.