• Key works by Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Winifred Nicholsonand Alfred Wallis among others
• Testament to great friendship between artist and collector
• One of finest collections of British Modernist art to come to auction

Important works by artists of the St Ives School and other key figures in the history of British Modernist art, are to be sold at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art Sale in London on 15 June 2016. They come from the private collection of one of Ben Nicholson's major supporters, Cyril Reddihough, or 'Redd' as the artist affectionately called him. Among the highlights are key pieces by Ben Nicholson including Painted Relief dated 1941, estimated at £400,000-600,000 and 1928 (Pill Creek) with an estimate of £200,000-300,000.

A solicitor by profession, Yorkshireman Cyril Reddihough was also a talented amateur artist who in his mid-20s struck up an acquaintance with Ben Nicholson that deepened into a lifelong friendship. They visited each other frequently over many decades and traveled through Italy together during the 1950s. Reddihough became a major supporter of Nicholson's work, buying paintings from the artist throughout the latter's career. He also purchased important pieces by Nicholson's first wife, Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981), and Barbara Hepworth (his second wife) and by many other British modernist artists including as Henry Moore, Christopher Wood and Alfred Wallis.
Just as importantly, he was a champion for Nicholson's abstract cause at a time when such art was widely ostracized. In 1930 Cyril wrote a poetic foreword to Nicholson's early one-man exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery in London. There Cyril states, 'Ben Nicholson, as an artist brooding upon the mysteries of form and color and the life latent in them, lives in a seclusion as austere as that of a medieval monk in his cell'
Major works from the collection include:

• Painted Relief dated 1941 by Ben Nicholson (1894-1982) – £400,000-600,000

The painted reliefs which Nicholson produced from 1933 onwards were pioneering in their absolute abstract conception. They are not only among his finest achievements but are probably the most crucial contributions of modernist British art to the international art scene in the first half of the 20th century. This work dates from Nicholson's pivotal early years in St Ives where he, his wife Barbara Hepworth and their triplets, had moved in 1939 to escape war-threatened London. (He stayed until 1955; Hepworth lived there for the rest of her life). The artistic colony which built up around them in St Ives made an immensely rich contribution to British artistic life in the war and post-war years.
• 1928 (Pill Creek) by Ben Nicholson – £200,000-300,000. 1928 (Pill Creek)

Pill Creek by Ben Nicholson is an outstanding and highly important example of Nicholson's work dating from the late 1920s. It features widely in the literature about the artist and ranks among the finest paintings by Nicholson from the formative first decade of his career, left in private hands. It has been in the Reddihough Family Collection since at least 1948.

The Warwick Family, Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981) – £60,000-80,000

Painted around 1925-6, the work depicts the family who lived next door to the Nicholsons when they moved to Bankshead Farm in north-east Cumberland in 1923. Her biographer, Christopher Andreae has described the work as 'One of Winifred's most monumental and sympathetic paintings of people."
Bonhams Director of Modern British and Irish Art, Matthew Bradbury, said, "Cyril Reddihough's patronage was, of course, very important to Nicholson financially but the story of their relationship is really one of a great friendship as we can see in the personal works within the Reddihough collection. The major acquisitions which provided Ben with such security were rewarded with personally dedicated, at times esoteric and always thoughtful pieces. Gifted works, inscribed by Ben appear regularly in the collection from the 1920s onwards and include the beautifully crafted Bus Ticket, regular and varied Christmas tokens also sent from Barbara Hepworth and numerous memento drawings and prints of trips taken together. The Reddihough Collection presents the largest ever single owner group of works by Ben Nicholson to appear at auction, an unprecedented opportunity for collectors to engage with one of the most significant collections of its type to ever come to market."


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