Canadian Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers
Sybil Andrews was born on April 19, 1898 in the small town of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, England. She spent her childhood drawing and painting, though did not have the means to continue onto art school after high school. Instead, she apprenticed as a welder, while teaching herself art through a correspondence program. She went to work at the Standard Motor Company, welding airplane parts during World War I. After the war, Andrews met Cyril Power, an architect and artist, who initially took on the role of mentor and sketching partner. The two would go on to become close friends and long-term associates, exhibiting together for the first time in 1921. In 1922, with the aid of a small inheritance, Sybil Andrews was able to enroll in the Heatherley School of Fine Art. Then, in 1925, Andrews fatefully took the position of school secretary at the newly formed Grosvenor School of Modern Art; this arrangement allowed her to earn a living and some free tuition. Andrews soon began to attend Claude Flight’s classes in linoleum-cut printing. Flight, influenced by Futurism, Cubism and Vorticism, brought to the school an innovative approach to art, and new printing techniques; these would provide Andrews with her ideal artistic vehicle: a medium for a new era.
Sybil Andrews thrived in this new medium, producing numerous works in the Hammersmith (London) studio that she shared with the like-minded Cyril Power. Andrews’ dynamic and modernist prints are characteristic of the golden age of design in the 1920s and 1930s., reflecting the speed, movement, and hustle-bustle of a rapidly changing world. Strong colour, simplification of form, the use of geometric and decorative patterning, and expressive rhythm were hallmarks of the genre and her work.
In 1938, Andrews and Power closed their studio. During WWII, Sybil Andrews once again worked as a welder for the war effort, this time working on warships instead of airplanes (at the British Power Boat Company shipyard at Southampton). Following the War, Andrews married Walter Morgan (whom she had met at the shipyard) and the two immigrated to Canada. They settled in Campbell River, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, which at that time was a remote logging town. Here, she lived a simple life, teaching art and music. After a period of adjustment, Andrews began to create linocuts again in 1951, as she was still driven by the desire to create "art that can show the everyday life of today". In this second chapter of her artistic life, Andrews work was thematically influenced by the scenes around her in her new homeland.
Andrews died in Victoria, BC on December 21, 1992 at the age of 95.
The Glenbow Museum (Calgary AB) held a retrospective exhibition of Sybil Andrews’ work in 1982, and then again in 2020 with the exhibition "Sybil Andrews: Art and Life".
Sybil Andrews work can be found in many public collections including: British Museum (London); National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); The Museum of Modern Art (New York); The Met (New York); The Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.); Museum of Fine Art (Boston); and Glenbow Museum (Calgary).
Literature: "Sybil Andrews Linocuts: A Complete Catalogue" (Hana Leaper & Osborne Samuel; Lund Humphries, 2015); "Sybil Andrews and the Grosvenor School Linocuts" (Hana Leaper; Osborne Samuel Ltd.; 2015)"Linocuts of the Machine Age: Claude Flight and the Grosvenor School" (Stephen Coppel; Scholar Press, 1995); "Sybil Andrews" (Peter White; Glenbow-Alberta Institute; 1982)
We are currently seeking works by Sybil Andrews to be included in future auctions.
If you are interested in selling with us or wish to get our opinion of the value of your artworks please contact us for an appointment to evaluate your artwork for auction.
A Few Notable Results from our Auctions
COFFEE BAR; 1952
linocut in four colours on paper; ed. #18/60
8 x 9 in.
Sold for $ 32,000 (hammer price) – November 2014
FLOWER GIRLS; 1934
linocut in four colours on paper; ed. #38/60
9.25 x 8.5 in.
Sold for $ 27,500 (hammer price) – November 2015
linocut in four colours on paper; ed. #22/60
10 x 12.5 in.
Sold for $ 22,500 (hammer price) – May 2019
BRINGING IN THE BOAT; 1933
colour linocut on paper; ed. #46/60
12.75 x 10 in.
Sold for $ 16,500 (hammer price) – May 2016
colour linocut on paper; ed. #27/60
12.25 x 14.5 in.
Sold for $ 9,500 (hammer price) – May 2017
colour linocut on paper; ed. #39/60
9.25 x 11 in.
Sold for $ 12,000 (hammer price) – May 2017
PLOUGHING PASTURE; 1954/5
colour linocut on paper; ed. #24/60
11.5 x 14.5 in.
Sold for $ 16,500 (hammer price) – November 2006
Since 1983, Hodgins Art Auctions is your trusted source for buying and selling art by Sybil Andrews and other important Canadian artists.
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