Yesterday evening in Sotheby’s British Art: The Jubilee Auction Pauline Boty’s 1962 painting With Love to Jean-Paul Belmondo sold for GBP 1,159,500 [GBP 950,000 plus Buyer’s Premium; Estimate GBP 500,000 – 800,000] achieving a new record price for one of her works.
This was previously held by her 1966 painting Bum, which sold at Christie’s on 22 November 2017 for GBP 632,750 [including Buyer’s Premium] with an estimate of GBP 200,000 – 300,000.
For more on yesterday’s sale and an extensive Catalogue Note on the work by Sue Tate [scroll right to the foot of the page] please see here: [link]
The Jubilee Arts Festival takes place from 28 May–15 June at Sotheby’s London and is described as follows: “Within the Jubilee Season, Sotheby’s will open its doors for an Arts Festival celebrating the alchemy of British creativity and stirring its spirit in the next generation. With exhibitions and events spanning the visual, performing, and literary, we will gather figures advancing and reinterpreting Britain’s treasured cultural legacy. Beyond unique opportunities to view artworks and jewellery loaned from some of the nation’s greatest private collections, we are partnering with RADA, Intelligence Squared and Fantasia Orchestra to deliver a programme of musical and dramatic performances, cultural and historical debates and talks with contemporary artists and creatives.”
On Monday13 Juneat1:00 pm in Pauline Boty, Pop Artist and Woman, Dr Sue Tate and Sotheby’s Frances Christie will discuss Boty’s life and work, including her important 1962 painting With Love to Jean Paul Belmondo which is due to be auctioned by Sotheby’s on 29th June [please see previous News item].
For further information on the festival please click here: [link]
On 29th June “British Art: The Jubilee Auction” at Sotheby’s in London will include Pauline Boty’s 1962 painting With Love to Jean-Paul Belmondo, with an estimated sale price of 500,000 – 800,000 GBP.
Sotheby’s describe the sale as follows: “In June 2022, the world’s attention will turn to London as we pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest serving monarch in UK history, admired and respected globally for her 70 years of service. To mark this significant moment, we will hold a major live-streamed Evening auction dedicated to the best of British Art. The sale will incorporate artists such as Gainsborough, Constable and Millais working in the 18th and 19th centuries to icons of the 20th century such as Barbara Hepworth and L.S. Lowry, and into the 21st century with artists such as Bridget Riley and Banksy.”
With Love to Jean-Paul Belmondo will also be included in an exhibition at Sotheby’s in London from 28th May–15th June and 22nd–29th June. In the intervening time it will be on display in New York with other key works.
More information on the sale is available here: [link]
On 13th June Dr Sue Tate and Sotheby’s Frances Christie will be in conversation as part of the Jubilee Arts Festival – a programme of musical and dramatic performances, cultural and historical debates and talks with contemporary artists and creatives. Further details to follow soon here.
Details With Love to Jean-Paul Belmondo by Pauline Boty Oil on canvas Signed BOTY, titled and dated 62 (on canvas overlap) Property from a French Private Collection
Unframed: 152.5 by 122cm.; 60 by 48¼in. Framed: 154 by 123.5cm.; 60½ by 48¾in. Executed in 1962.
Art that Made Us is a landmark eight-part series for BBC Two co-produced by the BBC and The Open University. Through 1,500 years and eight dramatic turning points, the series presents an alternative history of the British Isles, told through art.
Leading British creatives, including Simon Armitage, Anthony Gormley, Lubaina Himid, Maxine Peake and Michael Sheen join cultural historians to explore key cultural works that define each age.
Boty is represented in the final episode of the series, Brilliant Isles which “explores how the generation of artists who recorded the shocks of global war gave way in the 1950s and 1960s to an explosion of new voices from across the British Isles, reinventing the arts and creating a richer, more diverse culture. Young artists rebelled against the old establishment, kicking against the confines of class, sex, nation and race. Actress Lesley Sharp performs passages from Shelagh Delaney’s breakthrough play A Taste of Honey which brought the ordinary lives and unheard voices of working class women to a mainstream audience, while Chila Kumari Singh Burman explores the career of pop artist Pauline Boty.” [from the BBC website]
For further information including synopses, clips, broadcasting times and dates and link to iPlayer please see the BBC Programme page here [link]
From 2 October 2021 to 6 March 2022, “Amazons of Pop! Women artists, superheroines, icons 1961-1973” at Kunsthalle zu Kiel aims to address the diverse Pop art of a generation of women from Europe and North America who constitute the less-well-known side of the movement.
“Amazons of Pop! shows women who fight for their own emancipation with determination and actively champion political and social issues. They transgress boundaries in the art of their time, which was dominated by men, and test new and unusual materials such as plastic. Play with fictive characters, personalities and heroines from the big screen pervades the work of these artists, who demonstrate a great passion for experimentation, fantasy, intrepidness and a sense of strategy, conscious of the tense geopolitical and social circumstances of their time all the while. Amazons of Pop! features approximately 100 pieces from the fields of painting, installation, performance, sculpture and film and invites visitors to delve into the world of pop and a period of awakening: the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s.” [from the Kunsthalle zu Kiel website]
The exhibition features: Evelyne Axell, Barbarella, Brigitte Bardot, Marion Baruch, Pauline Boty, Martine Canneel, Lourdes Castro, Judy Chicago, Chryssa, France Cristini, Christa Dichgans, Jane Fonda, Ruth Francken, Ángela García, Jann Haworth, Dorothy Iannone, Jodelle, Sister Corita Kent, Kiki Kogelnik, Kay Kurt, Nicola L., Ketty La Rocca, Milvia Maglione, Lucia Marcucci, Marie Menken, Marilyn Monroe, Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Yoko Ono, Ulrike Ottinger, Emma Peel, Pravda La Survireuse, Martha Rosler, Niki de Saint Phalle, Carolee Schneemann, Marjorie Strider, Sturtevant, Valentina Terechkova and May Wilson.
Organized by the MAMAC Nice in collaboration with Kunsthalle zu Kiel and Kunsthaus Graz, as well as support from Manifesto Expo.
Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Düsternbrooker Weg 1, 24105 Kiel, Germany Tel: +49 431 88057-56; Link to exhibition website: [link]
Friday’s Daily Telegraph included a piece by Jake Kerridge about how writer Tom Glover is asking its readers for their help in tracking down Boty’s great lost work Scandal ’63 which has remained unseen at large since its creation and only survives currently courtesy of photographs taken by Michael Ward. The large painting’s focus is Christine Keeler astride a chair against a vivid red background in a variation of the iconic shot taken by Boty’s friend Lewis Morley. Across the top are four of the male protagonists of the Profumo Affair: Aloysius ‘Lucky’ Gordon, John Profumo, Stephen Ward and Johnny Edgecombe.
As the work was commissioned Glover deems it unlikely to have been burned, thrown away or lost at the time and through the correspondence of gallerist Mateusz Grabowski (who featured Boty in exhibitions in 1963 and again in 1965) has ascertained that the surname of the individual who commissioned the work is Wright, but other than that has reached a dead end with his search.
The work can also be seen here in portraits of Boty by Michael Ward [link] and in an earlier incarnation by Lewis Morley [link]
The Daily Telegraph article is here [paywall] [link]
Should anyone reading this have any further information that they might like to share please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The key above showing the different individuals and objects assembled by Pauline Boty for one of her most important works, her 1964 painting “It’s a Man’s Word I”, has now been added to the site. Among the figures newly-identified are the 4th century BC Greek statue of Hermes and also Thelonius Monk as a likely contender for another of those represented. As stated on the page, it is greatly hoped that in time the sources of all the items chosen by Boty to make up the work will be identified and the list on this page completed. All comments, corrections, clarifications and suggestions on this item would be greatly appreciated, via the Contact form here: [link] The new page can be accessed here: [link]
The screen grab below is of a new map added to the website showing the locations of Pauline Boty’s works in galleries and museums around the world. The map itself is available here [link] NB: not all are permanently on display however, so please be sure to check with the institution in question before making a trip specifically to see a work.
Dating from Boty’s time at the RCA [Royal College of Art] this untitled work has hints of the sensuality she would develop further with some of her key Pop art paintings, but with a palette of autumnal hues she rarely used again. The work is of oil on card laid on canvas and at 69 x 51 cm is large compared to most other surviving works from the period. Excitingly and very unusually it is also prominently signed and dated “Boty.59” on the front.