Painted in 1987, the year the artist was awarded the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris, Avigdor Arikha’s Studio Wall displays his incisive and poignant pictorial idiom. Acquired by Jeremy Lancaster in 1988, the work was subsequently included in the 1993 exhibition Copier Créer de Turner à Picasso: 300 oeuvres inspirées par les maîtres du Louvre held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Between 1986 and 1987, Arikha made the artist’s studio the subject of many of his paintings, and Studio Wall presents a cropped view of this hallowed space, partially framed by a wooden bannister. Blurred beyond recognition are a smattering of illustrations which have been tacked up to the wall, and their inclusion reveals that the central theme of Studio Wall is painting itself. These images are a nod to Arikha’s formal training, which he undertook at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. There, he rebelled against the conservative syllabus and instead wholeheartedly embraced an abstract visual language, evident in the predominantly grey, yellow and sepia geometry of Studio Wall. To describe his blend of figuration and non-representation, Arikha coined the term ‘post-abstract naturalism’ after an art critic referred to his paintings as impressionistic. Like his nineteenth-century forebears – though he rejected the association – Arikha worked primarily from life and often finished a painting in a single day; he loathed artificial light. ‘When I draw and paint,’ he reflected, ‘the essential thing is not to know what I do, or else I cannot come to what I see’ (A. Arikha, quoted in M. Fox, ‘Avigdor Arikha, Artist of the Everyday, Is Dead at 81’, New York Times, 1 May 2010, p. D8).