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    Sale 7637

    20th Century British Art

    12 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 42

    Frank Auerbach (b. 1931)

    Head of E.O.W.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Frank Auerbach (b. 1931)
    Head of E.O.W.
    oil on board
    12¼ x 8¼ in. (31 x 21 cm.)
    Painted in 1957.


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    Frank Auerbach arrived in London in 1947, the same year that he met the sitter of the present work, Stella West. She was 32 when he met her and a widow, running a lodging house in Earl's Court. She sat for Auerbach until 1973 and he commented, 'All of the heads of E.O.W. were worked from E.O.W. for a period of 20 years, 3 times a week, year in year out. They were all done by electric light, in the evening. I think it may well be that electric light had something to do with the look that they had, that is, the particular colours and the paint' (see exhibition catalogue, Frank Auerbach, London, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1978, p. 14).

    From 1948 Auerbach attended evening classes at Borough Polytechnic Institute where he was taught by David Bomberg. The influence of the older artist on Auerbach is clear: Auerbach recalled that Bomberg wanted him, 'to apprehend the weight, the twist, the stance, of a human being anchored by gravity: to produce a souvenir of that' (see R. Hughes, Frank Auerbach, London, 1990, p. 31).
    This work is presented in a 16th Century Italian frame.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Provenance

    with Beaux Arts Gallery, London.
    Philip Sutton, R.A., London.
    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 30 June 1983, lot 420, where purchased by the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF ALAN MANN

    Alan Mann was a passionate collector. In his flat overlooking the Thames on Richmond Hill he created an eclectic treasure trove. Born in London, he joined his father's firm of Quantity Surveyors after he left school, and later lived with his brother in a flat above the business in Bloomsbury Square. The British Museum was on his doorstep and his collecting was inspired by the frequent visits he paid to the museum. The art of Africa that he encountered there seems to have ignited a particular passion, and Christie's are honoured to be offering a single-owner sale dedicated to this aspect of his collection to take place in Paris on 4 December 2008.

    Alan Mann was also a keen collector of 20th Century British Art, and his collection includes this iconic portrait of E.O.W. by Frank Auerbach and a strong example of Dame Elisabeth Frink's work, Head (lot 146).

    His collection of 20th Century British Art also includes a diverse selection of pieces by Robert Clatworthy, a close friend. These works will be offered at the Christie's South Kensington sale of 20th Century British Art to take place on 17 December 2008.