Ivon Hitchens (British, 1893-1979) Dunford Stream in April, No.1 43 x 144.9 cm. (17 x 57 in.)
Lot 44AR
Ivon Hitchens (British, 1893-1979) Dunford Stream in April, No.1 43 x 144.9 cm. (17 x 57 in.)
£50,000 - 70,000
US$ 81,000 - 110,000

Lot Details
Ivon Hitchens (British, 1893-1979)
Dunford Stream in April, No.1
signed 'Hitchens' (lower right)
oil on canvas
43 x 144.9 cm. (17 x 57 in.)
Painted 1954-62

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owners

    The present work is the first of two known paintings of this title, the second being numbered as such and dated to the same period of 1954-62 (see Peter Khoroche, Ivon Hitchens, Lund Humphries, Aldershot, 2007, p.146, pl.118). Dunford Stream in April No.2 was sold at auction for £20,900 on 10 November 1989.

    Whilst painting this work, Hitchens was invited to show twenty pictures at the 1956 Venice Biennale. This would have given him a huge confidence boost, having only ever previously being asked for three or four examples for such exhibitions. It also presented the first opportunity for his work to become fully recognised outside of England. The show was well received and the British Council were implored to send it on tour, which they did - to Vienna, Munich, Paris and Amsterdam. Two years later he was awarded a CBE and in 1963, a year after completion of Dunford Stream in April No.1, Hitchens was honoured by the Arts Council with a retrospective at Tate Gallery, aspects of which were subsequently shown at Bradford City Art Gallery and Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery. For him, this was the ultimate acknowledgement but ever a shy man "Hitchens, in his midnight-blue, velvet smoking jacket with a red rose sticking out of the breast-pocket, was half-aghast, half-amused by all the fuss, of which he was the innocent cause" (Op.Cit., p.147).

    The present lot is a fully realised and successful example dating from a time of extraordinary professional achievement for the artist. Painted on a large scale and acquired directly from the artist, the work is rich with a fresh variety of colour and full dynamic brushstrokes. The Sussex landscape comes alive as our vision is directed up, down, across, back and forth over every inch of the canvas.
Auction information

The 29 May sale was the departments most successful auction to date making almost £5m.

Furthermore, it was 90% sold by value with some staggering results achieved for fresh, competitively priced material sourced from private collections. Over half of sold lots soared above their high estimates, indicating that Bonhams is best positioned to secure the best price for your Modern British & Irish Art.

The variety on offer within this genre continues to delight buyers, proven by exceptional results for post-war masters such as Auerbach, Scully, Hockney and Freud whilst the early-mid century examples by Spencer, Lavery, Burra and Moore also exceeded expectation. We were proud to break our own world auction record twice over in the same sale for a pencil drawing by L.S. Lowry. Agecroft Regatta sold for £211,250, pipping The Organ Grinder (£151,250) to the title. The sculpture and Irish content were similarly contended for by the packed saleroom and busy telephones.

The cover lot Garden Path, Cookham Rise by Sir Stanley Spencer fetched an impressive £769,250 while the much admired Oil-bound Puffin by Lucian Freud commanded £385,250 on the day, with both returning to private collections.

We are delighted to now invite consignments for the forthcoming auction on 20 November 2013.

Please contact a member of the department or visit the sale webpage for further information.

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Contacts
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