Victor Pasmore Value: Top Prices Paid at Auction

A collection of fluid blue shapes in different hues cascades from the upper portion of the artwork, forming a concave area in the middle and two rounded protrusions on either side. In the center of the concave, a translucent green layer overlays the blue, accompanied by two prominent blue dots below. Surrounding these dots are various pink and purple lines and dots.Image © Christie's / Anxious Moment (Lynton G42) © Victor Pasmore 1986
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Victor Pasmore, a distinguished Modern British artist, played a significant role in the pioneering development of British abstraction. His influential contributions are evident in his highest-selling works, such as Linear Motif in Black and White (1960-1961) and Abstract in White, Black, Maroon and Cedar (1962-1963). These pieces demonstrate Pasmore's progressive exploration of abstraction, as he ventured into tangible three-dimensionality by incorporating objects that visually protrude from the canvas. Pasmore's artistic prowess is further revealed through his adept incorporation of art historical narratives, seamlessly blending impressionistic aesthetics with modern abstract notions. This fusion of styles showcases his innovative approach and establishes him as an influential figure within the art world.

In terms of market performance, Pasmore's trajectory exhibits healthy fluctuations, with noteworthy compound annual returns observed in the past five years. While his paintings are relatively scarce in the market, with only one sale recorded in 2023, his prints circulate more frequently, commanding prices ranging from the hundreds to the high thousands. This presents an attractive opportunity for collectors seeking to enhance their portfolios with Modern British prints.

The following list highlights Victor Pasmore's highest auction prices.

£329,000 for Linear Motif in Black and White


A white square canvas with delicate black lines forming a central square and various abstract shapes within it.Image © Christie's / Linear Motif in Black and White © Victor Pasmore 1960-1961

Victor Pasmore was a proponent of pure abstraction, which he viewed as a way of capturing the essential qualities of art. His work, Linear Motif In Black And White (1960-1961), is a prime example of this approach and explores three-dimensionality by incorporating a range of materials, including acrylic and gravure on Formica, similar to woodblock printing. Through layering these composite materials, Pasmore creates a work that is as much an object as a picture, inviting the viewer to consider the physicality of the materials used in its creation. Linear Motif In Black And White is a seminal representation of Pasmore's oeuvre, showcasing his innovative approach to form, material, and perception.

This work is his auction record and sold for £329,000 (fees included) at Christie’s in June 2017.

£221,500 for The Studio of Ingres


 A painting depicting a reclining nude woman on a white bed, with her body seamlessly blending into the sheets, creating the illusion of her wearing clothes. She gazes back at the viewer with a seductive pose, reminiscent of an odalisque.Image © Sotheby's / The Studio of Ingres 1945-1947

The Studio of Ingres (1945-1946) marks Victor Pasmore's transition from representational to abstract art. Inspired by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, this painting interprets Ingres' studio and his renowned artwork, “Odalisque.” Pasmore employs formal composition, blending geometric shapes to create depth while the muted palette enhances the studio's ambiance. Pasmore abstracts the woman's body within white linens, foreshadowing his interest in movement and aesthetics. This fusion of references led to a remarkable sale of £221,500 (fees included) at Sotheby's in June 1997, the second-highest price for a Pasmore artwork.

£200,000 for Abstract in Indian Red, Crimson, Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink and Orange


 A red-washed abstract painting with geometric shapes in different colours at the bottom, while a small black circle outlined in white sits at the centre of the upper red section.Image © Christie's / Abstract in Indian Red, Crimson, Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink and Orange © Victor Pasmore 1957

This artwork signifies a pivotal moment in Victor Pasmore's artistic journey, marking his shift from representational techniques learned at the Euston Road School to embracing abstraction. It amalgamates various artistic influences, blending a vibrant palette reminiscent of American Abstract Expressionists with geometric forms akin to British Modern Abstract artists like Terry Frost. Like his English counterparts, Pasmore draws inspiration from the natural world, undergoing an aesthetic transformation inspired by cosmic magnificence.

Abstract in Indian Red, Crimson, Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink, and Orange (1957) fetched an impressive £200,000 (fees included) at Christie's in October 2019, highlighting its artistic and historical significance.

£200,000 for Linear Image: The New Vitruvius


 A small square canvas with a barely visible white gradient circle in the middle of the square is placed against a white canvas and framed by a thin brown wooden frame. The centre of the circle is intersected with a thin black horizontal line, and a vertical line protrudes upwards from the left-hand side of the artwork at a right angle.Image © Christie's / Linear Image: The New Vitruvius © Victor Pasmore 1965-1967

Linear Image: The New Vitruvius (1965-1967) exemplifies Victor Pasmore's evolved artistic style, defined by its minimalist precision and geometric perfection. This artwork features a symmetrically deviated circle nestled within a blue-grey square and bordered by white. Utilising a blend of oil and gravure, Pasmore meticulously captures his intended vision.

Inspired by Vitruvius, the Roman architect whose work influenced Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, Pasmore delves into the relationship between natural forms and classical harmony. Adding his unique twist, Pasmore integrates abstract engravings of human limbs within the white circle. The artwork showcases profound complexity, weaving together diverse art historical influences and epochs of artistic creation.

Linear Image: The New Vitruvius achieved £200,000 (fees included) at Christie's in June 2018, standing as his fourth highest-selling masterpiece.

£175,000 for Children Playing on the Banks of a River


Multiple figures are portrayed in a sprawling green garden, each occupying their own space without any apparent interaction. Positioned towards the left side of the artwork is a black pram, while in the background, a river flows with a peculiar black top hat mysteriously floating upon it. The scene is completed by the distant presence of shadowy mountains in the background.Image © Sotheby's / Children Playing on the Banks of a River © Victor Pasmore 1946-1967

Children Playing on the Banks of the River (1946-1967) stands out as a remarkable find in the art market, celebrated for its unique aesthetic and varied stylistic influences. The painting embraces an Impressionist narrative, capturing the fleeting essence of the landscape with expressive, loosely applied brushstrokes. Yet, it's the bold black elements—the pram, distant hats, and indistinct figures—that disrupt the illusion of depth, emphasising the painting's two-dimensional nature and enhancing its mysterious allure.

Focusing on colour as an arrangement of abstract shapes, this artwork showcases Victor Pasmore's unwavering dedication to abstraction. Acquired directly from Pasmore by a discerning collector, the piece fetched £175,000 (fees included) at Sotheby’s in June 2017, boasting an esteemed provenance.

£170,500 for View of the Canal from Magdalene Bridge, No. 2


A landscape painting in an abstract style depicting a river with a reflection of a verdant tree hanging from the left side of the artwork. On the right side, there are geometrically abstracted houses rendered in different tones of white, beige, and brown.Image © Sotheby's / View of the Canal from Magdalene Bridge, No. 2 © Victor Pasmore 1947

A commissioned artwork, Magdalene Bridge (1947), combines Impressionist influences with Pointillist techniques, evident in the portrayal of the en-plen-air narrative and detailed foliage of the trees. However, what elevates this work is Victor Pasmore's emphasis on abstraction, showcased through a harmonious colour palette and the integration of geometric forms through the houses and reflection of the river to establish depth and spatiality. This distinct amalgamation of styles is reflected in the selling price of £170,500 (fees included) at Sotheby's in November 2014.

£150,000 for Abstract in White, Black, Maroon and Cedar


A black square canvas features a smaller white square positioned centrally. Starting from the left-hand edge, three-dimensional objects made of various materials intertwine and intersect, extending almost to the opposite side of the canvas.Image © Christie's / Abstract in White, Black, Maroon and Cedar © Victor Pasmore 1962 - 1963

An innovative creation from the 1960s, Abstract in White, Black, Maroon and Cedar reflects Victor Pasmore's daring and inventive spirit. Pasmore ventured into unexplored realms by incorporating tangible three-dimensionality, extending objects beyond the canvas. This introduced sculptural elements, showcasing his enduring passion for architecture and signifying a shift from his previous figurative pieces.

Recently, this work fetched an impressive £150,000 (fees included) at Christie's in October 2021.

£146,500 for Linear Composition In Black And White


A white square composition is overlaid with another white square, which is adorned with delicate black lines forming abstract geometric shapes. Cutting through a quarter of the square from the right-hand side, a thicker black line adds an intersecting element. The artwork is elegantly framed by a slim brown wooden frame.Image © Sotheby's / Linear Composition In Black And White © Victor Pasmore 1960

Linear Composition In Black And White (1960) serves as a further testament to Victor Pasmore's matured artistic style, wherein he deconstructs geometric shapes to emphasise the artistic materiality and physical characteristics of the artwork. This technique holds particular significance for Pasmore, as he believed it transcended the conventional perception of an artwork merely as a picture, blurring the creative and constructivist boundaries between painting, sculpture, and architecture. This artwork achieved a sale price of £146,500 (fees included) at Sotheby's in November 2014.

£131,000 for View of a Garden, Chiswick


A landscape painting of a river is portrayed in a pale blue hue, with the water reflecting the surrounding trees in different shades of green. The sky appears lighter blue compared to the water, while the trees along the riverbank display various shades of green.Image © Christie's / View of a Garden, Chiswick © Victor Pasmore c.1944

A renowned artwork from Victor Pasmore's early years at the Euston Road School, this piece captures the scenic view from his Hammersmith terrace. It portrays the dynamic interplay between the foliage and marsh, transformed by the shifting colours of the sky. Pasmore's ingenuity is evident as he merges his abstract sensibilities with masterful handling of chromatic gradations, seamlessly transitioning into impressionistic linear strokes that create the trees. This period marked a crucial phase in his artistic development.

View of a Garden, Chiswick (circa 1944) achieved an impressive sale price of £131,000 (fees included) at Christie's in June 2017, surpassing the high estimate of £50,000.

£120,000 for The Gardens of Hammersmith, No. 2


A white-washed landscape painting featuring an abstracted pointillist depiction of bare trees, their leafless branches lining the right edge of the artwork. The arrangement of the trees creates a fluctuating sense of depth, while pointillist dots below each tree suggest fallen leaves.Image © Tate / The Gardens of Hammersmith, No. 2 © Victor Pasmore 1948

Victor Pasmore drew inspiration from the picturesque Thames River view visible from his residence in Hammersmith during the 1940s. The Gardens of Hammersmith, No. 2 (1948) belongs to a series of four paintings widely regarded as a gradual exploration into abstraction for Pasmore. These artworks exhibit a fusion of pointillism and linear interpretations of the impressionist en plein air aesthetics, characterised by a restrained colour palette.

This artwork ranks among Pasmore's top ten works, exemplifying its significance within his oeuvre, achieving a sale price of £120,000 (hammer) at Christie's in 1995.

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