An original painting by Martin Sharp. Paint (probably acrylic) on soft (Mylar) plastic film. Untitled. Signed in paint by the artist: "for Anthony, love Martin The Pheasantry 1970 - !" PAINTING.
An original painting by Martin Sharp. Paint (probably acrylic) on soft (Mylar) plastic film. Untitled. Signed in paint by the artist: "for Anthony, love Martin The Pheasantry 1970 - !".

97.

An original painting by Martin Sharp. Paint (probably acrylic) on soft (Mylar) plastic film. Untitled. Signed in paint by the artist: "for Anthony, love Martin The Pheasantry 1970 - !".

33.6x26.2cm. Museum level conservation mounted on black acid-free cotton board backing, secured with rare earth magnets and framed in aluminium with polished face and sanded sides behind 3mm. UV Perspex (40.9x33.6cm.). Sharp's choice of material reflects his continous experimentation with different media during the period, including painting on Mylar (the Smartiples series) and glass (his record sleeve design for Mighty Baby).


Although Sharp's work had shifted from psychedelia by 1970, this work, with its hallucinatory portrayal of a figure wearing a white mask, its face and body melting into multi-coloured liquid shapes, evokes the altered state of consciousness brought about by LSD and the ego dissolving experience of an acid trip. Sharp dedicated it to the writer and socialite, Anthony Haden-Guest, who, like him, had a studio at the Pheasantry on the King's Road in Chelsea. He appears in an amusing anecdote recounted by Joyce Morgan in her biography of Sharp: "The studio door was rarely closed at any hour - apart from one night when Anthony Haden-Guest walked up the Pheasantry's winding staircase accompanied by a glamorous woman. He wanted her to see Martin's studio. Anthony knocked but got no reply. Martin was busy and in no mood for visitors, so he did not answer. Anthony met Martin the next day and referred to his evening visit. He thought Martin would have enjoyed meeting French movie goddess Brigitte Bardot. Martin never again failed to respond to a knock on the door" (Martin Sharp: His Life and Times, p.117).


The painting has been professionally cleaned (though still retains the few original stray paint marks to the borders), and the surface shows some light marking and residue along the upper edge. An accompanying conservation report has been provided by the framers.


Original art by Sharp from this period rarely appears on the market, and this is the first example to be handled by this cataloguer. Overall, the painting has a glossy vibrancy and translucent quality, very much in keeping with the image. Sharp relocated to Sydney in November 1970, and this work evokes a sense of farewell, a parting gift from him to the psychedelic years in London that by then had come to an end.

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