2017-11-22-2017-11-21 --- 2017-11-21 15:38:37--18
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LOT :10
Evie Hone HRHA (1894-1955)
Abstract Composition
Oil on canvas, 100 x 65cm (39¼ x 25½'')
Estimate EUR : €15,000.00 - €20,000.00
Auction Date : 22-11-2017

Description

Evie Hone HRHA (1894-1955)
Abstract Composition
Oil on canvas, 100 x 65cm (39¼ x 25½'')
Signed and dated 1928

Provenance: From the collection of the late Dr Michael Wynne, former keeper of The National Gallery of Ireland and his sale in these rooms May 2005, Lot 88, where purchased by current owners.

 

Exhibited: The Abstract Eye: Mainie Jellett and Evie Hone, The Derek Hill Glebe Gallery, Donegal June - September 2009; 'The Moderns, IMMA, October 2010 - February 2011 Cat. No. 37; Analysing Cubism, IMMA, February - May 2013, The Crawford Gallery Cork June - September 2013, The FE Mc William Gallery, Banbridge September - November 2013; 'Irish Women Artists 1870 - 1970, Adams, Dublin - July 2014, The Ava Gallery, Clandeboye Estate, August - September 2014, Cat. No. 73.

 

Literature: 'The Moderns, IMMA, October 2010 - February 2011, full page illustration p.67; Analysing Cubism, The Crawford Gallery Cork, full page illustration p.63; 'Irish Women Artists 1870 - 1970, Adams, full page illustration p.89.

 

Evie Hone studied with the Cubist painter André Lhote in Paris in 1920-1921. She and Mainie Jellett subsequently collaborated with Albert Gleizes, which resulted in the first exhibition of abstract art in Ireland in 1923. This used a Cubist aesthetic developed in Gleizess studio which the French artist called translation rotation. As described in Gleizess 1923 book, La Peinture et ses Lois the artist begins with the basic shape of the support and paints its surface in one colour, proceeding to select colours and shapes which echo the form of the canvas. This is the static element of translation. In rotation, the Cubist element, the artist rotates these basic forms to create a dynamic composition which introduces the idea of time and movement into the work.

 

This method was used by Hone in the construction of her abstract art throughout the 1920s and is evident in Abstract Composition, 1928. Against a mauve base Hone has created a geometric framework of greens and blues the angular forms of which mutate as they move towards the centre of the composition into more fluid and organic lines. These suggest the shape of a figure, akin to that of a religious icon. Gleizes, Jellett and Hone were all devoutly religious and shared a reverence for medieval sacred art and a commitment to an art practice that would offer a meaningful aesthetic to the wider community. At one level their abstract art was concerned with creating a spiritual art for the twentieth century. Unlike Jellett whose work was developing along similar proto-figurative lines in the late 1920s, Hone did not adopt religious titles for her work, sticking instead to neutral terms like Composition. This terminology discourages the viewer from looking for representational elements in the work and stresses instead its aesthetic components.

 

Hones version of translation-rotation, while very close to that of Jelletts, is considered to be more intuitive, spontaneous and less rigidly theoretical. One gets some sense of this in those parts of Abstract Composition where the lines end suddenly or mutate into a different colour. The reinforcement of the green in the upper right part of the composition also indicates Hones willingness to play with the limits of this style and its relationship to figurative art. The subtle repetition of rectangular floating forms of blue and bright green adds a note of dynamism and movement.

 

Unusually Hone made a gouache version of Abstract Composition and a pochoir or stencil print of its design. This indicates the artists high regard for the work. It demonstrates Hones mastery of abstract art and her status as a pioneer of this kind of modernist painting in Europe in the 1920s.


Dr Róisín Kennedy

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