Long lost artist discovered by Harrogate gallery sells at Sotheby's

An oil painting by a long-lost modern English artist who was first championed by an independent art gallery in Harrogate has been sold at Sotheby's.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 5:39 pm
Scarlett Stewart, a curator at Harrogate's 108 Fine Art, with an example of paintings by Joash Woodrow at a previous exhibition at the gallery.
Scarlett Stewart, a curator at Harrogate's 108 Fine Art, with an example of paintings by Joash Woodrow at a previous exhibition at the gallery.

Portrait of Judith Allin is the first painting by reclusive artist Joash Woodrow to have been offered by the premier auction house for fine art and luxury objects.

Sold last week for £11,970, this stunning oil on canvas was executed circa 1960-1965 by the Yorkshire artist who was undiscovered and over-looked until the final years of his life.

The painting was originally exhibited at the highly successful solo exhibition of the artist's work at the Fine Art Society in 2009, where it attracted considerable critical acclaim, and had been featured as the cover image of the catalogue.

Leeds-born Woodrow, who studied originally at Leeds College of Art before studying at the Royal College of Art from 1950 to 1953 where his contemporaries included Peter Blake and Frank Auerbach, made an early impact as a young artist before disappearing from the limelight.

Woodrow went on to be neglected for decades until 2000 when 772 paintings and 4,500 drawings were found at his former home by Andrew Stewart, owner of 108 Fine Art gallery in Harrogate.

Subsequently, the first exhibition of his work was held at 108 Fine Art in Harrogate in 2001, before being followed by public art gallery retrospectives in Leeds, Manchester and the Royal College of Art in London in October 2005.

Woodrow himself died in 2006 when he was the subject of extensive obituaries in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and in the regional press,

Since then he has continued to be championed by 108 Fine Art which is located on Cold Bath Road in Harrogate.

In fact,108 Fine Art is currently planning an exhibition of the late artist's work from the 1960s to be held in Harrogate in spring 2021.

Although it closed in line with Government guidance on Covid during lockdown, independent gallery 108 Fine Art has also created a series of "in conservation with" podcasts with well-known figures from the wider art world.

The latest podcast features artist Calum McClure, who provides an insight into his work, his life, and interests.

Previous podcasts on the 108 Fine Art website included Bonhams picture specialist Jane Winfrey and former Orange Juice lead singer and artist Edwyn and Grace Collins.

For more information and to access the podcasts, visit www.108fineart.com

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