William Black painting 'Girl With A Hat' at Burton Market Hall web

Cubist painting by St Ives artist William Black goes to Lichfield auction following valuation at Burton Market Hall

A CUBIST portrait by an enigmatic artist whose work has taken half a century to gain mainstream recognition has come to light in Staffordshire.

William Black’s 1968 painting ‘Girl With A Hat’ will go under the hammer with Richard Winterton Auctioneers at The Lichfield Auction Centre as Lot 281 on Monday, March 6, as part of that week’s Antiques & Home Sale, starting at 9.30am.

More than a metre tall and created in gouache – opaque water-based paint – the study of a female figure wearing a blue hat is signed and dated by the artist.

The portrait was consigned to auction following a valuation at Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ unit at Burton Market Hall and is estimated to sell at £500 to £600.

A detail from William Black’s ‘Girl With A Hat’, a cubist style study more than a metre tall, signed and dated 1968.
A detail from William Black’s ‘Girl With A Hat’, a cubist style study more than a metre tall, signed and dated 1968.

“This is a British artist whose work has emerged from the shadows in recent years,” said David Fergus, decorative arts valuer with Richard Winterton Auctioneers.

“Relatively little is known about William Black but he was working in the 1960s in a variety of styles including Abstraction and Cubism.

“Apparently an architect by trade, Black was a self-taught artist who moved to Cornwall to work with the St Ives group of artists, where he also produced sculptures and was acquainted with such luminaries as Barbara Hepworth.

“Yet he stood slightly away from the main group and consequently his work has been somewhat underrated until now.”

Valuation and saleroom assistant Paul Williams with the William Black cubist painting ‘Girl With A Hat’.
Valuation and saleroom assistant Paul Williams with ‘Girl With A Hat’ at Burton Market Hall.

Famously pioneered by Pablo Picasso, Cubism has been considered possibly the most influential art movement of the 20th century.

Cubist works of art see subjects taken apart and re-assembled in an abstract form, with the artist depicting them from multiple perspectives to present a greater context than from a single perspective.

This late 19th century Chinese charger discovered at a Burton valuation sold at £600.
This late 19th century Chinese charger consigned following a valuation at Burton  Market Hall sold at auction for £600.

Senior valuer Sarah Williams will be offering free, drop-in valuations of silver, paintings and antiques at Burton Market Hall in the Market Place every Wednesday from 10am-1pm, when general auction consignments may also be left.

Free weekly valuations of jewellery and watches are offered at the unit on Mondays from 10am-1pm.

A portrait by American artist Betsy Flagg Melcher sold at auction for £900.
A portrait by American artist Betsy Flagg Melcher sold at auction for £900.

A late C19th Chinese porcelain charger consigned following a Burton valuation sold for £600 at auction on Monday (February 27) and the same sale saw a portrait by American artist Betsy Flagg Melcher fetch £900.

The following day, a collection of cameras including vintage Leica models sold for a total of £20,575.

This Leica M6 camera made £2,300 at auction on February 28.
This Leica M6 camera made £2,300 at auction on February 28.

The catalogue for the March 6-7 auction is online now via www.richardwinterton.co.uk/auction-dates and viewing is in person is on Friday, March 3, 10am-4pm by appointment.

People are welcome to bid live in the room at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, or can join the auction online.

For auction information or to book a valuation, call 01543 251081 or email office@richardwinterton.co.uk.

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