Bridget Riley, Cool Edge (1982) Image courtesy of Sotheby's
British Airways is auctioning 17 works worth as much as £1.4m from its 1,500-strong collection at Sothebys this month as the aviation industry undergoes deep structural changes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chiefly comprised of British artists, the top lot is an abstract painting by Bridget Riley which used to hang in the executive lounge at Heathrow. Cool Edge (1982), which carries an estimate of £800,000-£1.2m, will be sold in Sothebys "Rembrandt to Richter" evening sale on 28 July. The canvas belongs to Rileys Egyptian Series, inspired by the landscape and tomb paintings of Egypt which the artist saw during a visit in 1981. Other examples from the series are held at the Tate in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The rest of the works, which were mainly installed in the airlines offices, will appear in an online sale of Modern British art due to run between 20 and 30 July. They include paintings by Terry Frost and Patrick Heron, as well as several lower value prints by Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn and Julian Opie, among others.
Patrick Heron's Scarlet and Bordeaux in Colbalt Image courtesy of Sotheby's
Willie Walsh, the chief executive of International Airline Group which oversees British Airways, has said the airline is “fighting for survival”, although the firm has come under fire from unions and members of parliament over plans to eliminate 12,000 jobs, or around 30% of its stafRead More – Source
the art news paper