Since Jamaica declared independence in 1962, art on the Caribbean island has swung between two major styles: ‘mainstream’ and ‘intuitive’.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Gabriel Berner
While the former movement references Jamaica’s trained artists, more often exposed to art trends abroad, the latter consists of largely self-taught artists who maintain strong links with African forms of expression and are predominantly closed to external influences.
Mallica Reynolds (1911-89), better known as Kapo, is one of Jamaica’s foremost ‘intuitive’ painters.
In 1981, Kapo’s painting Shining Spring was chosen by the government and people of Jamaica as a wedding gift to Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
The artist’s work made a rare appearance at auction in a picture sale held by Harry Moore Gwyn at Blythe Road (20% buyer’s premium) in West Kensington on October 17.
The 18½in x 2ft 3in (47 x 68cm) oil on panel, titled Lonadsay Portland, was painted in 1967 and was given by the artist to the vendor’s family.
Given a guide of £400-600, it was eventually knocked down at £4400.
Rocker on a roller
Another artist whose works seldom appear at auction is Modern British painter and book illustrator Fermin Rocker (1907-2004).
The work on offer was an undated 2ft x 30in (61 x 76cm) oil on canvas of a London Underground platform. It sold for £2700 against a £800-£1200 guide, among the highest prices for the artist at auction according to the Art Sales Index.
The sale was led by a pair of architectural capricci oils, catalogued as ‘circle of’ the Italian painter Niccolo Codazzi (1642-93) and with provenance to a ‘Spanish noble family’. The duo were knocked down at £5500, nearly three times the top guide.