Michael Flatley takes centre-stage in art world

Highest-priced painting of 2015 Irish art auctions is by former Lord of the Dance

 

The highest-valued painting to go to auction in Ireland so far this year is not a work by Jack B Yeats, Paul Henry, Sir John Lavery or any of the other traditional top-selling artists but by Michael Flatley.

The former Lord of the Dance takes centre stage in his new incarnation as a painter in Morgan O’Driscoll’s Irish and international art auction in the RDS on Monday evening, April 20th.

A 6ft by 6ft canvas titled The Power has a top estimate of €90,000 and, if achieved, would represent a more than fourfold increase on the €22,500 paid for Flatley’s painting Rossmore Island – in his art auction debut (at Sheppard’s) last year.

Flatley creates his paintings by dancing on to paint-spattered canvases in a studio at his Co Cork mansion, Castlehyde.

A second painting by Flatley, Flight of the Quetzal, is estimated at €40,000-€50,000.

Both paintings – along with some 160 other lots – are on public view in the RDS in Ballsbridge today, tomorrow and Monday (April 20th) when the auction begins at 6pm.

Auctioneer Morgan O’Driscoll earlier this week showed highlights of the auction – including the Flatley paintings – in London’s La Galleria, Pall Mall, and claimed to be “the first Irish auction house to hold a viewing” in the British capital.

He hopes to tap into the potentially lucrative market of Irish art buyers in London who may also be motivated to buy given the current strength of sterling versus the euro.

The London viewing is a major expansion for the Skibbereen, west Cork-based auction house, established in 1994, which has become a regular presence in the Dublin art market.

Other top lots in Monday’s auction include: Foreshore with Figures by Daniel O’Neill (€30,000-€50,000); and Driving the First Pile, Belfast by James Humbert Craig €10,000-€15,000.

Among the international lots is a “unique screenprint in colours” by Andy Warhol, titled Martha Graham: Letter to the World (The Kick) (1986), estimated at €25,000-€35,000; and, a sumptuous Victorian painting titled Still Life with a Pineapple, Roses, Carnations, Cob Nuts, Peaches, a Pear, Black Grapes, Raspberries on a Parcel Gilt Tazza with a Parcel Gilt Casket on a Table by English artist Edward Ladell (1821-1886) which is estimated at €17,500-€25,000.

Other artists in the auction include Ivan Sutton, Markey Robinson, Liam O’Neill, Mark O’Neill, Camille Souter, Frank McKelvey, Mainie Jellett, Colin Middleton, Gerard Dillon, George Campbell, Hughie O’Donoghue and William Scott. For viewing times and an online catalogue see morganodriscoll.com

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