15 Modern British artworks with estimates below £500



Last November, David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold for US$90 million at Chrisite’s, becoming the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction by a living artist. Record breaking figures such as these might lead the art enthusiast or novice collector to believe that they are priced out of the Modern British Art market however, Head of Modern & Post-War British Art, Krassi Kuneva dispels this myth with her 15 modern British works with an estimate below £500 from her forthcoming sale.

Lot 6. Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003), Colour on the side. Estimate: £400-600

Once Barbara Hepworth’s assistant, Sir Terry Frost was one of the leading proponents of abstract art in the ‘60s, creating works in shapes grounded in natural forms that used colour and light to produce a sense of delight in life as depicted in Colour on the side. Lot 6. Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003), Colour on the side. Estimate: £400-600

Lot 30. Laurence Stephen Lowry RA (1887-1976), The Lonely House. Estimate: £400-600

Britain’s famous painter of urban landscapes Laurence Stephen Lowry’s enduring popularity makes it hard for his numerous admirers to own originals, but a fine offset lithograph such as The Lonely House allows entry to the Lowry market without the cool £2.3 million price tag.*


Lot 49. Hedwig Pillitz (Exh. 1920-1940), Portrait of Sir Anton Dolin. Estimate: £200-400

Hedwig Pillitz’s portrait of Sir Anton Dolin captures one of the foremost male ballet dancers of the twentieth century. Known among his friends as Pat Kay, Sir Anton began his career in the corps de ballet of Diaghliev’s famous Ballets Russes. As both an inspired dancer and choreographer, he has contributed to the wide spread appeal of ballet today.


Lot 78. John Piper C.H. (1903-1992), Long Sutton. Estimate: £400-600

A fine balance of energy and structure in Long Sutton makes for a particularly vibrant composition. It is the masterful use of bold colours and strong contrasts when depicting Britain’s landmarks and churches that have made John Piper’s art timelessly popular.


Lot 85. Diana Armfield RA (B.1920), Primroses in the cup from Market-Drayton. Estimate: £400-600

A renowned Royal Academician, Diana Armfield’s aim as an artist has been to paint subjects that enhance life and express intimacy. Primroses in the cup from Market-Drayton is a harmony of colours and movement of light, a celebration of the little things in life.

Bernard Myers (1925-2007), Three nudes. Estimate: £120-180

A long-time Chiswick resident at St Peter’s Wharf, Bernard Myers’ talent for capturing a moment is exquisitely demonstrated by the fast strokes of the palette knife that define his figures. These elegant paintings would enrich any interior.


Lot 98. Graham Sutherland O.M. (1903-1980), Insect. Estimate: £400-600

Insects began to appear in Sutherland’s works after his move to the South of France in the late 1940s and they remained a subject that piqued his curiosity for the rest of his life. The bold colours and almost abstracted representation are typical of his work and his widely recognisable style confirms him as one of the leading British artists of the 20th century.


Lot 116. Nicola Hicks (B.1960), Duck. Estimate: £300-500

Animals are at the heart of Nicola Hick’s output and the use of dynamic lines imbue her works with life. Hicks’s work was patronised early by Dame Elizabeth Frink, among others, and her success and popularity were reflected in numerous solo shows, including at the Venice Biennale.


Lot 131. John Cecil Stephenson (1889-1965), Abstract blue and white. Estimate: £300-500

One of the pioneers of British Modernism, John Cecil Stephenson exhibited together with the Seven & Five Society, along with the likes of Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Ivon Hitchens, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and John Piper.  In the ‘40s he was working mostly on small sketches due to lack of materials during and shortly after the end of the War.

Lot 139. Patrick Caulfield RA (1936-2005), Fern Pot. Estimate: £400-600


Born in Acton, not far from Chiswick Auctions’ sale room, Patrick Caulfield’s recognisable style of thick black outlines has influenced many other contemporary artists such as Michael Craig-Martin and Julian Opie. Fern Pot’s texture imitates hand-made paper and is a fine example of the artist’s output in the beginning of the 80s.

Sir Peter Blake RA (B.1932), The Wrestlers: Red Power; and the Tuareg. Estimate: £400-600

Sir Peter Blake RA (B.1932), The Wrestlers: Red Power; and the Tuareg. Estimate: £400-600

Celebrated for the sleeve design for The Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sir Peter Blake is one of the leading and best known British pop artists. Red Power and The Tuareg are part of the Wrestler series that consists of imaginary national types of wrestler from the 1970s.


Lot 153. John Edwards (1938-2009), Rough Cut. Estimate: £200-400

John Edwards’ Rough Cut is made for a large space; its bright colours and nuanced layers occupy one’s attention and becomes the central point of any interior it inhabits. Edwards’ secondary market has not yet reflected his strength as an artist which makes his works in this auction widely affordable.

Lot 159. John Piper, C.H. (1903-1992), Eye and camera: blue and red. Estimate: £300-500

In the late 70s and early 80s, John Piper experimented with prints based on photographs of his wife, Myfanwy. Eye and Camera provides an exciting insight into another side of Piper’s output as an artist.


Lot 164. Sir Eduardo Paolozzi RA (1924-2005), Turing 7. Estimate: £150-250

Scattered around London, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi public works include his mosaic in the Tottenham Court Road Station and his sculptures at both the British Library and Design Museum, making him one of Britain's most widely seen artist. A pioneer of Pop Art, a celebrated print maker and influential teacher; Turing 7 makes a great collectable piece for fans of Paolozzi.

Lot 168. Victor Pasmore C.H. RA (1908-1998), The Paradox. Estimate: £400-600

Victor Pasmore was a celebrated figurative artist before he abandoned the style in favour of abstraction in 1947. So sudden was this event that the highly influential art critic of the time, Sir Herbert Read, called this ‘the most revolutionary event in post-war British art’. Both in his paintings and in his prints, it is the compositional structure that draws the viewer in. In The Paradox there is a particular rhythm between the wandering lines and the colour blocks that creates a balanced tension. The work’s small scale allows for easy house space.

Modern & Post-War British Art, Thursday 4th July at 2pm BST

Krassi Kuneva
Head of Modern & Post-War British Art