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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hannah Frank original drawings for sale by silent auction at the Hidden Lane Gallery -closes 4 p.m on Sat 30 October

Four drawings and a set of two woodcuts by Hannah Frank - Al Aaraaf (1908-2008)- for sale by silent auction.

This is the first time that there has been a chance to bid on original Hannah Frank drawings since the 1970s. This beautiful set of four drawings and two woodcuts has been in a private collection in Norwich for 30 years. They are now on show at the Hidden Lane Gallery Hannah Frank exhibition which runs till 30 October. Closing date for the Silent Auction is 4 p.m. on Saturday 30th October. You can bid, in increments of £20, in person at the gallery, or by phoning the gallery during gallery opening times (11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday).

Gallery Tel no 0141 204 3139.
Hidden Lane Gallery 1081 Argyle St Finneston Glasgow G3 8LZ.

The four drawings are:

'Ex Libris Arthur Frank' 1929 Pen and ink. - this is a well-known image of a stylised Hannah Frank style woman, holding up a sheet of paper, with a mask by her feet - done originally in 1929 as a frontispiece for the GUM magazine. It is signed Al Aaraaf, the artist's pen name which she used for drawings in the GUM. The drawing and the image was used for many of the 1960s and 70s exhibitions posters, and covers for prints and cards catalogues. When the current owner bought it there were details of an Edinburgh exhibition from the 1970s on it - these details are on the back of the frame, but under those details were, in beautiful manuscript 'ex libris Arthur Frank' - a bookplate for the artist's younger brother, Arthur Frank (1915-2005). There are some 'whiteout' marks which you can see on the closeup photos and glue marks where the different exhibition information, etc, has been stuck on the drawing. Opening offer £2500. (10/9/10 - check with gallery for latest price)

'Head with diamond floor' - unfinished drawing, pencil and pen and ink, 1934. The drawing is of a woman, in front of a window with a tree and typical Hannah Frank dark, close-drawn sky, with diamond tiled window ledge. The drawing is signed 'Hannah Frank' in pencil, in capital letters. Opening offer £1700. (10/9/10 - check with gallery for latest price)

'Hopeless Love' - pen and ink drawing, 1929. This beautiful drawing is of a woman, facing the viewer, with a long dress, long pointed fingers, and typical eerie Hannah Frank trees and a closely drawn dark nightfall in the background. The words, in careful manuscript, are 'a lady murmuring low words of hopeless love'. Hannah Frank based many of her drawings on poetry - the original of this quotation is not known (please contact the artist's niece Fiona Frank if you have any information on this quotation). This is an untypical drawing of the period in that there is a lot of white in it - her early drawings of 1928/1929 are mainly in black with fine white lines marking the figures. Opening offer £2000 (10/9/10 - check with gallery for latest price).

'Spirit of Delight' 1927 - pen and ink drawing. This very early drawing is of a woman, with long flowing hair and a long dress with a flowing train, silhouetted against a black background. The quotation is 'rarely rarely comest thou - spirit of delight' - which comes from a 1824 song of the same name by Shelley. Opening offer £2000 10/9/10 - check with gallery for latest price).

The two woodcuts are mounted together. They were done between 1932 and 1934 when Hannah Frank studied wood engraving at the Glasgow School of Art.(She won the James McBey prize for wood engraving. They are both of the same image, at slightly different stages of the engraving. One is signed Hannah Frank in pencil. The image is of the artist's own bookplate - the wording is 'Ex Libris Hannah Frank - Al Aaraaf'. There is a representation of the artist, holding a pen in her left hand (she was, in fact, right-handed, but the engraving is done in mirror image), with, in the background the typical star, and double leafed tree that figures in many of her drawings. The poetry books and bottle of ink - the other tools of her trade - feature below - and the artist is holding a sheaf of drawings in her right hand. Opening offer £1500 10/9/10 - check with gallery for latest price.)

Sale price includes frame with acid free mount. Enquire for closeup photos of individual drawings Fiona Frank, the artist's niece -

Also at the gallery - many more original Hannah Frank black and white drawings and sketches and a set of pastel life drawings from the 1950s which were only discovered in 2008 (and which are all for sale). Also bronze and plaster sculptures and a chance to buy cards, prints (some signed) and sculptures.

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