Christie's /Dec 12, 2012
€246,502.75 - €369,754.13
Find artworks, auction results, sale prices and pictures of William P. Roberts at auctions worldwide.Go to the complete price list of works
Artworks in Arcadja137
Some works of William P. RobertsExtracted between 137 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Bonhams -Apr 17, 2013 - EdinburghLot number: 67
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William Roberts R.A. (British, 1895-1980) Evening in Oban signed 'William/Roberts.' (lower right) and inscribed '-Evening in Oban.-' (lower left) pencil, pen, ink and watercolour 35 x 25.3 cm. (13 3/4 x 10 in.) PROVENANCE: With The Leicester Galleries, London, where purchased by Miss H. Grant Sale; Sotheby's, London, 13 May 1987, lot 189 Sale; Bonhams, London, 26 September 2007, lot 76, where purchased by the present owners EXHIBITED: London, The Leicester Galleries, New drawings, satirical and otherwise by William Roberts , October 1949, no.10 Roberts shared lodgings with William McCance and Agnes Miller Parker in London.
Auction: Bonhams -Feb 20, 2013 - LondonLot number: 97
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William Roberts R.A. (British, 1895-1980) London's Fairs (London Transport poster) Lithographic poster printed in colours, 1951, on thin wove, printed by Curwen Press together with another poster by Shafig Shawin, London Zoo, 1948, on thin wove, printed by Curwen Press, 1015 x 660mm (40 x 26in)(SH)(unframed)(2)
Auction: Christie's -Dec 13, 2012 - LondonLot number: 191
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William Roberts, R.A. (1895-1980) Mahomet's Ride signed 'William/Roberts' (lower left) oil on canvas 36 x 30 in. (91.4 x 76.2 cm.) Painted circa 1967. with Spink, London. Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 27 November 1997, lot 109. Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 10 March 2005, lot 27. with Osborne Samuel Gallery, London. W. Roberts, Paintings and Drawings by William Roberts, R.A., London, 1976, pl. 15. London, Royal Academy, 1968, no. 482. Born in Hackney in 1895, William Roberts was apprenticed at the age of fourteen to a firm of commercial artists and two years later won a scholarship to the Slade. Influenced to some extent by the early cubism of Picasso, his strong draughtsmanship soon gained recognition. In 1913 he worked briefly with Roger Fry in the Omega Workshops, where he met Wyndham Lewis, who had a strong influence on him and led him to join The Rebel Art Centre. He was one of the first artists in the country to adopt abstraction, and became an audacious and brilliant exponent of this art form only to discard it and return to figurative painting a year or two later. His involvement with the Vorticist group at the age of eighteen reached a peak with his contribution to Blast 2 and the Doré Galleries exhibition in 1915. Like so many young men of his time, he was drawn inexorably into the Great War. He was a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery and an Official War Artist producing works of extraordinary emotional depth and maturity. Throughout the twenties and thirties there was a dynamic and sometimes harsh quality to his work. This gave way to the more lyrical mood of his Oxford period. His concern for the human figure or for people engaged in a particular activity is apparent in these pictures. His treatment of the human figure is, in essence, formal with its strong draughtsmanship and an original, dramatic sense of composition. Roberts first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1948. He continued to show new work there every subsequent year until his death, becoming an Associate in 1958 and an Academician in 1966. His working life spanned almost seven decades: after a stormy beginning his style gradually crystallised but he never lost his quality of draughtsmanship nor his unique sense of design both of which were with him from his days at the Slade until his death.
Auction: Christie's -Dec 12, 2012 - LondonLot number: 35
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William Roberts, R.A. (1895-1980) The Poor Family signed 'Roberts' (upper left) oil on canvas 20 x 16 in. (50.9 x 40.7 cm.) Painted circa 1921-23. Purchased by Dr. H. Caplan, a friend of the artist, between 1923 and 1928. with Leicester Galleries, London, where purchased by the present owner. THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN W. Roberts, Paintings and Drawings 1909-1964, London, 1964, p. 14, as 'Unemployed', dated 1924. Drawings and Design IV, 1928, p. 273, illustrated. Exhibition catalogue, William Roberts, R.A., London, Parkin Gallery, 1976, no. 2. Exhibition catalogue, Le réalisme Anglais entre les deux guerres, Paris, Centre George Pompidou, 1981, p. 331, illustrated. Exhibition catalogue, William Roberts, R.A. Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours 1910-1978, London, Albemarle Gallery, 1989, no. 37, illustrated. A.G. Williams, William Roberts: an English Cubist, Aldershot, 2004, p. 69. London, Chenil Gallery, Paintings and Drawings by William Roberts, November 1923, no. 19. London, Arts Council of Great Britain, Tate Gallery, William Roberts A.R.A., Retropective Exhibition, November - December 1965, no. 17: this exhibition travelled to Newcastle, Laing Art Gallery, January 1966; Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, January - February 1966. London, Parkin Gallery, William Roberts, R.A.: an exhibition of paintings and drawings, November - December 1976, no. 2. Paris, Pompidou Centre, Le Réalisme Anglais entre les Deux Guerres, 1981. London, Albemarle Gallery, William Roberts, R.A.: Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours 1910-1978, April 1989, no. 37. Poverty was a subject that Roberts knew at first hand. After the First World War he began living with Sarah Kramer (sister of the artist Jacob Kramer), who soon became pregnant. Their son, John, was born in 1919. Roberts was selling little - he wrote to his former teacher Henry Tonks that 'I have had such a struggle to make a living at all that I am at times almost driven to despair' 1 - and through personal experience he would have been very familiar with the type of claustrophobic interior space of The Poor Family. The cramped room serves as a sitting room, a bedroom and a bathroom for the family. For Sarah and William Roberts their rented room had also to serve as an artist's studio. However, this painting does not seem to be autobiographical. Whereas Sarah Kramer and William Roberts lived an impoverished 'bohemian' lifestyle in Fitzrovia - 'love among the artists' as Sarah used to characterise it - the 'poor family' shown in the picture are robustly portrayed as working class, drawing upon social types familiar to Roberts, the son of a Hackney carpenter. Roberts's immediate post-First World War work is now best known through his large-scale compositions showing everyday life for working-class Londoners. His milieu is the street corner, the pawnbroker's, the park, the music hall, the cinema and the bus stop. In contrast to these highly populated works, The Poor Family is powerful through being a tightly focused composition - a couple with a baby in the foreground and presumably parents or in-laws in the background. By placing the viewer in an intimate relationship with the subjects, Roberts emphasises the psychology of the interpersonal relations depicted - a feature developed in two of his later interior compositions, The Restaurant and The Chess Players (both circa 1929). The interplay of looks between the mother, preparing to feed her baby, and the father has immediacy through the way Roberts captures mid-motion the turn of the father's head. The title The Poor Family prompts the viewer to read the scene as one of concern for the future of a child born into a situation of dire poverty - a situation that is probably all too familiar for the older couple. The simplified features of the weary faces with their downcast eyes seem to exemplify resignation and hopelessness. When, in 1964, Roberts reproduced The Poor Family in his self-published William Roberts A.R.A. Paintings and Drawings 1909-1964 (p. 14) he gave the painting the title Unemployed. This gives the picture a more political point which may have been considered unpalatable to potential buyers when the work was first exhibited, in 1923. With the title Unemployed, the topic of conversation for the group is suggested, and the younger man's pointing right hand seems to indicate the powerful arm and hand of the elder man, perhaps evoking the common figure of speech of 'hand' standing for 'hired man', or in this case someone waiting for hire. At the time Roberts worked on this painting, around 1922, unemployment in Britain had reached a post-war high of 2.5 million. In the East End of London, thirty councillors of Poplar had been arrested and imprisoned for their actions to alleviate local poverty as a result of unemployment, and there had been mass demonstrations in their support. Although Roberts rarely expressed explicit political views, just before the war he had lived in an artists' commune set up by the eccentric socialist Stewart Gray, who had led a number of hunger marches and demonstrations to highlight the problem of unemployment. The Poor Family was painted at an important time for William Roberts as he emerged from the temporary security of his official war-artist commissions and prepared for his first one-man exhibition, in 1923. His brief as a war artist had encouraged 'realistic' rather than 'Cubist' work, and Roberts produced an extraordinarily powerful group of watercolour drawings on war subjects that may best be described as 'expressionistic' in their spontaneity of line, intensity of mark-making, use of vivid colour, and selective distortion of the human figure. In looking for post-war subjects, Roberts turned to the drama of everyday life and inflected often downbeat subjects with a modernism that in some cases is expressionistic - in the manner of his war pictures - and at others exhibits an excitement about form, design and geometric shape that has its roots in Roberts's Vorticism and looks forward to his very idiosyncratic mature style. It is expressionism that is to the fore in The Poor Family, with viewers being immediately drawn into the pathos of the situation through the family's sculptural, almost mask-like, faces. Roberts had seen tribal masks in collections by Jacob Kramer and early patrons Sacheverell and Osbert Sitwell, and was very familiar with the influence of 'primitive' art on Picasso, Derain and Modigliani - all of whom had exhibited at the Mansard Gallery, London, in 1919 in an exhibition for which Roberts had designed the poster. In The Poor Family, the face of the centrally standing woman - privileged in the picture's composition - is rendered through simple lines in the manner of a Modigliani portrait, though Roberts resists creating individual portraits and chooses instead generalisations that evoke broader responses in the viewers. The similarities and differences with Newspapers (1926) are instructive. In this later work, Roberts once again groups four figures around a table in a bare interior. However, the expressionism has now been largely played down, and 'cubist' elements such as the angles of the newspapers and the still life on the table seen from a heightened perspective are now more dominant. A study for The Poor Family was one of a large number of preparatory drawings that remained in the Roberts family, and following the death of John Roberts it is now owned by Tate and is currently on exhibition in Tate Britain. 1 Photocopy in the Tate archive (William Roberts Box 3) of an undated letter sent from 32 Percy Street and hence datable to 1918-19. [Original believed to be in the Harry Ransome Center, University of Texas at Austin.] In (probably) early 1925 Roberts wrote to William McCance that 'the financial position is such that I feel proud when I am able to produce the cash for the next days [sic] meals' (ibid.) We are grateful to David Cleall for preparing this catalogue entry.
Auction: Bonhams -Nov 14, 2012 - LondonLot number: 19
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
William Roberts R.A. (British, 1895-1980) Evening in Oban signed 'William/Roberts.' (lower right) and inscribed '-Evening in Oban.-' (lower left) pencil, pen, ink and watercolour 35 x 25.3 cm. (13 3/4 x 10 in.) PROVENANCE: With The Leicester Galleries, London, where purchased by Miss H. Grant Sale; Sotheby's, London, 13 May 1987, lot 189 Sale; Bonhams, London, 26 September 2007, lot 76, where purchased by the present owners EXHIBITED: London, The Leicester Galleries, New drawings, satirical and otherwise by William Roberts , October 1949, no.10