Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art: A Glimpse into Swinging Sixties

Christie’s, a prominent player in the world of art auctions, recently unveiled a showcase of Modern British and Irish Art that promises to bring the vibrant essence of Swinging Sixties London back to life.

The headliner of this exciting event is none other than Dame Barbara Hepworth’s monumental sculpture, “Three Obliques (Walk In)” – a remarkable piece that invites viewers to engage with the surrounding landscape. Let’s delve into the world of art, creativity, and cultural heritage that Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art season offers.

Three Obliques (Walk In) – A Masterpiece of Monumental Proportions

Dame Barbara Hepworth’s “Three Obliques (Walk In),” created in 1968, is a sculpture of monumental proportions. Standing at almost three meters in height and nearly five meters wide, this rare and highly significant work was conceived by Hepworth during the 1960s. Designed for open-air settings, it redefines the relationship between art and nature.

Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art: A Glimpse into Swinging Sixties
Dame Barbara Hepworth, Three Obliques (Walk In) (1968),
Estimate: £6,000,000-9,000,000

Hepworth’s sculptures, particularly “Three Obliques (Walk In),” provide a unique opportunity for art enthusiasts to interact with their environment. This bold exploration of the interaction between art and nature sets the stage for an unforgettable experience.

The Austin Reed Mural: A Glimpse into the Swinging Sixties

Robyn Denny’s “The Austin Reed Mural,” created in 1959, encapsulates the spirit of optimism and confidence that permeated London at the end of the 1950s. This masterpiece, commissioned for Austin Reed’s Regent Street store, played a pivotal role in attracting a younger clientele. The bold aesthetic, featuring semi-abstract forms and Union Jack colours, drew even The Beatles, who recognized it as an icon of the “Swinging Sixties” style.

Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art: A Glimpse into Swinging Sixties
Robyn Denny, The Austin Reed Mural (1959),
Estimate: £180,000-250,000

Denny’s mural not only served as a testament to the cultural shift in the 1960s but also became a symbol of the era’s style, attracting even the most influential figures of the time.

Edward Wadsworth: A Glimpse into Art and Family

Christie’s is set to showcase a unique group of works by Edward Wadsworth, presented directly from the artist’s family. These pieces not only highlight Wadsworth’s skill and diversity but also provide an intimate look into the artist’s private life. “Self Portrait in a Turban” (1911) and “Straight from the Tap I” (1944) are among the remarkable works that will be featured, representing different phases of Wadsworth’s career.

Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art: A Glimpse into Swinging Sixties
Edward Wadsworth, A.r.a (1889-1949) Self Portrait In A Turban
Estimate £70,000 – 100,000

From early works to later creations, this collection of Wadsworth’s art allows us to appreciate his versatility and the evolution of his artistic style over the years.

L.S. Lowry: Capturing the ‘Battle of Life’

The art of L.S. Lowry continues to captivate audiences worldwide. His works, such as “The Bandstand, Peel Park” (1941) and “Going to the Match” (1946), provide a glimpse into urban life and the human experience during the industrial age. Lowry’s ability to capture the essence of everyday life and major sporting events in his art is truly remarkable.

Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art: A Glimpse into Swinging Sixties
Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.a. (1887-1976) Bandstand, Peel Park
Estimate: £500,000-800,000

Lowry’s work remains relevant and captivating, offering a window into the past and a reflection on the ‘battle of life’ that he so eloquently portrayed.

Celebrating a Century of Bookmaking with Phaidon Press

To mark the 100th anniversary of Phaidon Press, Christie’s is hosting an exhibition titled “100 Years of Creativity: A Century of Bookmaking at Phaidon.” This exhibition, open from 15th to 19th October 2023 at Christie’s, London, celebrates the enduring creativity and innovation in the world of publishing.

Phaidon Press has played a significant role in documenting and disseminating the world of art and culture over the last century, and this exhibition is a tribute to their lasting contribution.


Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art season promises to be a celebration of artistic diversity and cultural heritage. From Dame Barbara Hepworth’s monumental sculpture to Robyn Denny’s iconic mural, and from Edward Wadsworth’s personal journey to L.S. Lowry’s portrayal of urban life, this event is a testament to the power of art to transcend time and captivate generations.

Additionally, the Phaidon Press exhibition adds a delightful layer of appreciation for the world of art in publishing. Art enthusiasts and collectors alike can look forward to immersing themselves in the rich tapestry of British and Irish art at this unmissable event.

Images: Christie’s

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