Kelly, Nicholson, Howard and more....

3rd December, 2022

Hunting down

We’ve continued our travels across the UK and beyond in search of works to bring to Castlegate, in fact it’s been a very busy last two weeks. Most may be seen HERE, including three wonderful larger-scale works by Percy Kelly, one of the most compelling oils by Winifred Nicholson, a museum quality early oil by Ken Howard (RA) plus new works by the very talented Craig Simpson, amongst others.

Percy Kelly

It’s not often you get the opportunity to acquire three works of this size and quality by the late Percy, but it really isn’t very common when you’re buying them from a collector in Alabama! The three would appear to have made their way across the Atlantic many decades ago; if only they could talk. Now repatriated and awaiting new frames, they’re available to grace the homes of new custodians. One we know is of Allonby, one of Bowness on Solway, but one, the Red Houses from 1961, remains a mystery. Any theories for those with more detailed West Cumbrian village knowledge, very welcome!

Winifred Nicholson

Winifred Nicholson was and remains one of the most lauded and collected of British female artists of the twentieth century, and this oil, Flowers - St Ives, must surely be one of her most compelling paintings. Dating to around 1968, it has the palette and composition to lift it firmly into the top tier of her works. Acquired from a private south west collection, it has remained out of sight for many decades, until now. It even has a painting to the reverse of the canvas, possibly painted by Jake, Winifred's son. We are very grateful for the assistance of Jovan Nicholson in researching this painting. 

Ken Howard (RA)

Ken Howard had an illustrious career and became one of the stalwarts of the Royal Academy until his very recent death. Whilst his latter-decades works remain highly sought after, for us, his works of the 1950s and 1960s remain his zenith.  We had no hesitation this last week in driving to south Wales to a rural farmhouse to view what surely must typify the definition of Modern British (20th C) painting. In that farmhouse lived a truly wonderful full sitting portrait of a woman from the late 1950s, just captivating in tone, technique and composition, it must surely be one of the most accomplished and captivating paintings by Ken that has emerged onto the market in many years.

Craig Simpson and our thanks

Finally, turning to the young talent of Craig Simpson (I guess “young” is relative when you’re a gallerist/art dealer at fifty four years old). Following on the heels of the works provided to us in late summer, Craig has this past week delivered three more just-finished paintings. As before, all depict people he knows, both through work and leisure, and are a thoroughly accomplished contemporary take on the traditional discipline of portraiture; we really do believe Craig is a name you will hear more and more of as the years progress, he has both the skill and imagination needed to set himself apart.

Finally, as the year draws toward a close, we’d like to thank everyone for supporting both us and what we look to do at Castlegate, during 2022. There never seems to be a straight forward year, it’s what risk analysts call Steady State Volatility, but it has been, is and we’re sure will continue to be worthwhile; we wouldn’t do anything else.

Steve and Christine

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