The Grosvenor School’s big bucks

harbour scene date unknown

Harbour Scene, Edith Lawrence, date unknown, 7 of 50

Tomorrow (July 23rd) sees the sale of a collection of over 80 works by an important, if not wholly well-known, linocut artist who worked in the very dawning of the medium.

Edith Lawrence was a pupil at the famed Grosvenor School in Pimlico, London, studying under the tutelage of none other than founder and ‘linocut icon’, Claude Flight.

The sale at the Tennants auction house of Lawrence’s work (uncovered by her great nephew) follows increasing interest in works produced from the school, with one of her works – Cricket – selling for £8,500 in 2013…

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Cricket, Edith Lawrence, date unknown

The latest sale at the North Yorkshire auction house also features works by other pupils from the school, such as Dorrit Black and Lill Tschudi. The total estimate for the sale is £68,000-104,000…

But why were the school, and Claude Flight, important?

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Running from 1925 until the advent of war in 1940, it was founded by forward thinking printmakers who were interested in combining their love of the linocuts with a desire to reflect the increasing urgency and speed of modern life (sound relevant?).

More exciting for me though is the fact Flight himself was keen to use individual plates for each of his colours, not just relying on the ol’ suicide technique of reduction – and as such prints from his school (and his own work) seem to have a vibrancy that was not witnessed before in the medium.

In fact, he was the first person ever to exhibit linocuts in an exhibition (at London’s Redfearn Gallery) in 1929. And he wanted the works to be as affordable as “a couple of pints” which you simply have to adore.

Although these days, of course, the works produced in that period sell for way more than that. Way more.

For more information on the sale, and to bid (!) visit the online catalogue here

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