Ken Kiff (British, 1935-2001) Seascape 122 x 67.5 cm. (48 x 26 1/2 in.)
Lot 96ARW
Ken Kiff (British, 1935-2001) Seascape 122 x 67.5 cm. (48 x 26 1/2 in.)
£10,000 - 15,000
US$ 16,000 - 25,000

Lot Details
Ken Kiff (British, 1935-2001)
Seascape
signed 'Ken Kiff' (lower right)
acrylic on board
122 x 67.5 cm. (48 x 26 1/2 in.)
Painted 1987-88

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With Fischer Fine Art, London

    EXHIBITED:
    Fisher Fine Art, London, Ken Kiff New Work, May-June 1988, cat.no.8

    LITERATURE:
    Andrew Lambirth, Ken Kiff, Thames and Hudson, London, 2001, p.20 (ill.)

    The enigmatically titled Seascape is entirely typical of Kiff's distinctive and accomplished hand. Noted by Kiff's biographer and Spectator art critic Andrew Lambirth as particularly 'poignant', Seascape is a prime example of Kiff's ability to create a scintillating dialogue between the exploration of painterly technique and the deeper layers of consciousness that so intrigued him.

    Critical response to Seascape when it was first shown notes that it sits within 'a body of imagery so constituted in the stuff of painting and in the painter's relationship with a technique that it becomes a nonsense to think of formal attributes separately from the meaning' (Martha Kapos, Ken Kiff, Art Monthly 118, July/August, 1998).

    This sense of play with the physical make-up of each work, in some instances leaving areas of canvas or board exposed is most skillfully employed in the Tate Gallery's 1983-6 work Triptych: Shadows. In Seascape, Kiff has cut back through the layers of paint revealing scratches of the prime coat and the board, and in doing so introduces a dynamic quality to the surface. Furthermore, the great consideration Kiff paid to the composition is underlined by the pentimenti surrounding the phoenix in the lower left quarter.

    As stated in Art Monthly the year Seascape was completed, this uncompromising attention to technique pitched against Kiff's wonderfully poetic imagery means 'we are made acutely aware of the actual stuff of painting and at the same time of the value of its symbolic imaginative life within our lives.' (Op.cit).

    We are grateful to Martha Kapos for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.
Auction information

Bonhams' November sale achieved a number of high profile records, including the highest price in London that week within a sale of Modern British Art - Allies by Lawrence Holofcener fetched an impressive £409,250. The department are especially proud to have secured a new world auction record for Walter Richard Sickert. Painted circa 1904, Woman in Profile with Downcast Eyes was discovered in Australia and following intense bidding realized £229,250. Irish Art fared well too, with Paul Henry's charming Old-Age Pensioners going for £109,250 while Colin finding Irish buyers.

The next auction will take place on 29 May and closes for entry in April. Already consigned are museum quality works that are fresh to market by LS Lowry, FE McWilliam and Edward Seago, among others.

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