Paint. Print. Sculpt. | Our Top Picks - Winter 2024

Paint. Print. Sculpt. | Our Top Picks - Winter 2024

With our 'Paint. Print. Sculpt.' Sale open for bidding, some of our team of Modern & Contemporary Art specialists share their top lots. 

9 February 2024

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Zimeng Li, Picture Department Assistant

Twisted in the font of her own handwriting, shining brightly and warmly rather than dazzlingly, conveying a warm message, Tracey Emin’s neon gas light sculptures are deeply personal, but of exceptional relatable quality. As a matter of fact, her 20-meter neon pink installation, ‘I want my time with you’ glowing behind the clock of St. Pancras Station, never fails to tug at my heartstrings. Left alone the message of intimacy between borders after Brexit smartly embedded in the work. Her atmospheric use of the materials, illuminating a public place, especially as such: a train station where people kiss goodbye or welcome the loved ones from a long trip home, does make a magically touching effect on a grand scale. But will that be possible to share a piece of that sensitivity as a private collector? The lot offered at our upcoming Paint Print Sculpt auction proposed a perfect answer.

 

Tracey Emin and The Dean and Chapter of Liverpool Cathedral  By Phil Nash from Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Tracey Emin and The Dean and Chapter of Liverpool Cathedral

By Phil Nash from Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 

I felt you and I knew you loved me, another work from her pink noen series, sitting above the west doors of the Liverpool cathedral. Quoting Gill Hedley’s report the ACE Award for Art in a Religious Context: ‘Coloured glass, light and text have been the cornerstone of art in Christian worship for centuries and this work combines all three but as pink neon.’ The message, in Emin’s feminine handwriting, is a gentle and soothing for the worshippers, just like lovers’ whispering. However, embroidered on linen handkerchief, the level of intimacy in these words are brought to its peak.  Needles and threads, seal the secret of love permanently on an item so easily carried around and so frequently used, will no doubt act as a perfect reminder of a specific person or a memory.  The work, not only gives you the chance to sparkle your collection by owning a piece of work by one of the greatest female artists of the era , but is indeed a considerate gift for your loved ones.

 

Tracey Emin RA (b.1963) 'I Felt You And I Know You Loved Me' embroidery on linen napkin with swing tag signed, inscribed and dated 'With you in mind/Tracey Emin/2012', and Emin International sticker 46 x 47cm (£600-800)

Tracey Emin RA (b.1963) 'I Felt You And I Know You Loved Me' embroidery on linen napkin with swing tag signed, inscribed and dated 'With you in mind/Tracey Emin/2012', and Emin International sticker 46 x 47cm (£600-800)

 

Molly Gearen, Picture Department Intern

The Connor Brothers are legendary—literally. Their global success as runaway twins from a California cult launched them into a record-setting sale at Bonham’s and sell-out gallery shows on three continents. Their work captures a cultural zeitgeist, running satirical commentary across canvases or re-purposed books, and often pinpointing a striking truth through humour. A particular favourite of mine in this sale is the Veronica Lake look-a-like who exhorts the viewer to tell her beautiful untrue things, nude body obscured from view by a bedsheet, lit cigarette in hand, glossy peekaboo hair falling over one eye with an eyebrow arched knowingly over the other. She expects post-coital lies and false declarations, but she demands that they at least be prettily framed.

 

The Connor Brothers (b.1968) 'Tell Me Beautiful Untrue Things', 2019 hand painted vintage paperback with silkscreen, signed and numbered 1/2 on a label verso 17.5 x 10.5cm (£800-1,200)

The Connor Brothers (b.1968) 'Tell Me Beautiful Untrue Things', 2019 hand painted vintage paperback with silkscreen, signed and numbered 1/2 on a label verso 17.5 x 10.5cm (£800-1,200)

 

In one of our other prints, another savvy blonde claims she has no aspirations towards heaven—none of her friends are there! The Connors capture a hard-edged worldliness in these beauties usually the preserve of pre-code heroines (think Jean Harlow). Though the brothers’ work may offer veracious social commentary, their own backstory is fiction; in an exclusive 2014 interview with the Telegraph, the artists behind the success of the Connor Brothers revealed that they have worked under pseudonyms. In fact, the works are produced by Mike Snelle and James Golding, British art dealers whose struggles with depression and addiction, respectively, drove them out of the spotlight to pull the strings, like puppet masters, to facilitate the sale of their artworks. This revelation has done nothing to diminish their global reputation—an already thrilling tale is made all the better by this twist.

 

The Connor Brothers (b.1968) 'I Don't Want to Go to Heaven None Of My Friends Are There' giclée print in colours with silkscreen varnish, signed and dated 'Connor Brothers 17' in pencil l.r., and numbered '54/150' l.l. sheet 165.5 x 106.5cm, unframed (£1,500-2,000)

The Connor Brothers (b.1968) 'I Don't Want to Go to Heaven None Of My Friends Are There' giclée print in colours with silkscreen varnish, signed and dated 'Connor Brothers 17' in pencil l.r., and numbered '54/150' l.l. sheet 165.5 x 106.5cm, unframed (£1,500-2,000)

 

The sale by Sworders of these painted books and canvases allows buyers to participate in the intensely popular phenom that is the art of the Connor Brothers.

 


 

Friday 9 February - Sunday 18 February

pictures@sworder.co.uk | 01279 817778

 

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