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June 10, 2011 5:14 pm

Sale of the week: Banking on pieces of Scotland

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Sale: Scottish contemporary art

Location: The Fleming Collection, 13 Berkeley Street, London W1, tel: +44 (0)20 7409 5730; www.flemingcollection.com

Date: until September 3. Open Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10am-5.30pm

Need to know: The Fleming Collection of Scottish art was begun in 1968 by a descendant of Robert Fleming, the Scottish founder of the eponymous merchant bank, and now runs to more than 1,000 oils, watercolours and drawings dating from 1800 to the present.

The collection was sold to the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation after the bank’s takeover by Chase Manhattan in 2000, since when the ethos of only allowing works by Scottish artists has been strictly maintained. As the sole UK museum devoted to Scottish art, the Fleming Collection has come to be regarded across the world as an “embassy” for the genre and last year it staged its inaugural summer exhibition to sell works by some of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists. Set to become an annual event, this year’s edition features 48 pieces at prices ranging from £495 to £10,000.

 

Playful ‘Paper Boat’ by Louise Higgins

Highlights: At £10,000, the priciest piece on offer is Delia Baillie’s abstract, “Once Upon a Time in the North North-East”, painted in acrylic and pen on a piece of giant-sized board measuring almost 8ft by 10ft. For those who appreciate strong drawing, Adam Kennedy’s “Breaking Point”, a powerfully executed mixed media study of a partly dismantled ship’s hull is both more affordable (£2,400) and of a more manageable size. Kennedy, 23, and just two years out of art school, won this year’s £15,000 Aspect prize for Scottish painting with his studies made at the Clyde shipyard, near where he grew up.

A more whimsical take on a nautical theme is found in Louise Higgins’s “Paper Boat” (£850), while Helen Flockhart’s “Green Bird” (£2,800) is loosely reminiscent of the work of Simon Palmer. The exhibition also features photographs, including two large-scale seascapes by Graham Fagan at £4,500 apiece, and three bronzes by Bill Scott, president of the Royal Scottish Academy.

A percentage of all sales goes towards supporting the Fleming-Wyfold foundation.

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