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On 12 and 18 December, Christie’s auction house in South Kensington will sell off the core art collection hung at legendary London restaurants Langan’s Brasserie (pictured, right) and Odin’s (pictured, below left). The restaurants’ prodigious art collections number hundreds of works, and this series of auctions will see 230 of them go under the hammer.
Both Langan’s Brasserie, in Mayfair, and Odin’s, in Marylebone, have been part of the London scene since they opened in the late 1970s. Langan’s original owners – the late Peter Langan, an art enthusiast, and Hollywood legend Michael Caine – made the restaurant a hit with regulars who numbered key figures from the worlds of music, movie, art and literature, from artist David Hockney and film star Jack Nicholson to Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. Artists who struck up a relationship with Langan would sometimes donate works in exchange for meals.
On 12 December, Christie’s Modern British Art evening sale will see 10 of the restaurants’ works auctioned off; then, on 18 December, Peter Langan: A Life with Art will present the main body of 220 works. Proceeds from the sales of the artworks are predicted to total in excess of £1m.
‘There are all sorts of things going on sale, from portraits, country scenes and landscapes, to cartoons,’ Brian Clivaz, managing director of Langan’s Group, told Square Meal. ‘They’ve all at some point or other been hung in one or more of the restaurants, so I’m sure regulars who have sat opposite a favourite picture will want to buy it.’
The works offered in Modern British Art will focus on pop artists RB Kitaj and David Hockney, who was Langan’s best friend for many years. Highlights include Hockney’s Portrait of Peter Langan in Los Angeles, which was painted in the early 1980s and has a list price of £100,000-£150,000, and a drawing in charcoal and pastel by Kitaj, called Sailor and Girl, which the artist dedicated to his friend Langan; it is estimated to sell for £15,000-£25,000.
On 18 December, Peter Langan: A Life with Art will see the sale of the remaining 220 works, all of which capture the vibe of Langan’s restaurants – a mixture of good times and good memories. Artists whose work will be auctioned include John Cosmo Clark, Richard Westall, Eliot Hodgkin and Patrick Procktor – one of the first artists among Peter Langan’s clientele. Hockney will also be represented at this sale, although reserve prices for works by other artists start at £800.
‘Peter Langan had a good eye,’ Clivaz told Square Meal. ‘I’m an old sentimentalist so I will probably bid for something, too – although I don’t have much wall space left!’
The money from the auction will be invested into the business. Some of the proceeds will go towards the refurbishment of Langan’s and Odin’s, which will both undergo a ‘refresh’ in the New Year, according to Clivaz.
Interested parties can place bids in advance, bid online, or bid in person (please leave extra time for registration upon arrival). To find out more about the auctions and to find out how to place a bid, contact Hannah Schweiger at Christie’s, on 020 7389 2964 ([email protected]).