An important work by the Glasgow artist Ken Currie, A Scottish Triptych: Nightshift, Departure, Saturdays, was sold for £100,000 at Bonhams 19th and 20th Century Pictures sale in Edinburgh on Wednesday 30 November. It had an estimate of £20,000-30,000. This is a new world record at auction for the artist, surpassing the previous figure of £31,000 set at Bonhams in 2002.
Bonhams Head of Scottish Art, Chris Brickley said, "A Scottish Triptych: Nightshift, Departure, Saturdays is an astonishing work of great depth by one of Scotland's greatest living painters. There was a lot of pre-sale interest in this piece and I'm not surprised that it was sold for such a high price."
One of the most significant Scottish post-war figurative artworks to have come onto the market in recent years, this monumental triptych shows the influence of early 20th century German painters such as George Grosz and Otto Dix, whom Currie greatly admired. The painting captures the spirit of Glasgow in the mid-late 1980s, with some of the places represented - such as McKinnon's bar in Nightshift being readily identifiable. The work also deals in motifs and totems. The central figure in Nightshift and Departure, for example, references the wandering, alienated man familiar from the works of Kafka and Beckett.
The triptych was exhibited in the famous Vigorous Imagination group show in Glasgow in 1987, and at Currie's major show in Berlin in 1988, which assured the artist of a following there. It was later exhibited in San Francisco, alongside work by other artists of the New Glasgow Boys School. It was purchased by the exhibition's organizer and has been in California ever since.
For further information and images call Andrew Currie on +44 (0) 20 7468 5871, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.