2017-11-22-2018-11-19 --- 2018-11-19 03:54:35--18
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LOT :13
Norah McGuinness HRHA (1901-1980)
Above the Bay
Oil on canvas, 51 x 89cm (20 x 30'')
Estimate EUR : €20,000.00 - €30,000.00
Auction Date : 22-11-2017


Norah McGuinness HRHA (1901-1980)
Above the Bay
Oil on canvas, 51 x 89cm (20 x 30'')

Provenance: From the collection of the artist's sister, Rhoda and bequeathed to the current owner.

Exhibited: 'Norah McGuinness', The Leicester Galleries, London, 1963, Catalogue No.25, where purchased by the artist's sister Rhoda; 'Norah McGuinness', The Frederick Gallery, April - May 1996, catalogue No.18, on loan from Rhoda McGuinness; 'Norah McGuinness Centenary Loan Exhibition', Dalkey Castle Heritage Centre, 2002, Catalogue No.19, under title 'From Bray Head'.


Norah McGuinness painted the east coast of Ireland extensively. Living in Dun Laoghaire, she developed a passionate interest in the seashore, its birdlife and the patterns of the water, the sand and the mud flats of Dublin Bay. This work is a panoramic view of a coastal town in Co. Wicklow, possibly Greystones. A solitary figure in a white dress stands on the crest of the hill giving perspective and scale to the surrounding vista. Her isolation contrasts with that of the groups of figures on the strand behind her.

Above the Bay, like many of McGuinnesss other works, is strongly influenced by her close but increasingly flexible understanding of cubism which she learned in Paris with the Cubist artist André Lhote in the 1920s. She had earlier studied design with Harry Clarke in the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and she worked extensively as an illustrator and window designer in London, New York and from 1939 in Dublin. She brings this experience to bear in her treatment of the landscape in this work. The vagaries of nature are transformed into a rich densely coloured and patterned surface. The land and distant mountains are presented like a tapestry of differing green and brown squares. The sky is blocked out into larger geometric shapes of greys and white. The sea is composed of broad brushstrokes of turquoise, blue, grey and white. In contrast the town appears like a series of childlike blocks that enable bright green, pink and yellow to be introduced into the painting. There is a distinctive and decidedly cosmopolitan quality to this rendition of the landscape. The skilful blocking of form and colour makes the view appears consciously modern and stylized. McGuinnesss assured understanding of form, as seen in this work, has enabled her to construct a vivid and graceful painting that succeeds independently of reality.


Dr. Róisín Kennedy


Hammer Price : €36,000.00
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