Pieces by tragic artist to go under the hammer

One of the Antoni Sulek pieces that will be available at the auction.
One of the Antoni Sulek pieces that will be available at the auction.

A huge collection of watercolours and drawings by a ‘prolific and passionate’ Northumberland artist is set to be among the highlights of a major sale of contemporary and modern art and design.

A total of 28 lots in the Anderson & Garland auction on July 14 are being sold on behalf of the family of Antoni Sulek, who died in 1988 when he was just 36.

The son of displaced Polish parents, he was born at a resettlement camp at Morpeth in 1951 and was raised in Northumberland.

His extraordinary work and life was the subject of the book ‘Poles Apart: The Life and Works of the Artist Antoni Sulek’ published by Ingrid Taylor in 2010.

Anderson & Garland auctioneer Julian Thomson said: “Sulek painted prolifically, passionately – some might say obsessively.

“He died tragically young and he has been largely ignored, but his time has now come and there is increased demand and interest in the work of this visionary local artist.

“He fits into the Van Gogh stereotype of tortured artists who died largely unacknowledged and became recognised after their death.

“His work is very expressionistic and seems to reflect some of the inner conflicts he was going through. It also represents his Polish traditions and the torment of the Polish people in the early to mid 20th Century.”

In addition to the Sulek collection, which is being auctioned on behalf of the artist’s father, Anderson & Garland will be selling a number of pieces by other noted modern and contemporary British artists.

These include Pitman painter Norman Cornish, Scottish painter Alexander Millar and Welsh artist Ceri Richards.

The auction in Newcastle will also feature sculpture, ceramics, glassware and furniture. For more information, visit www.andersonandgarland.com