Bonhams auctions Auerbach art of 'museum quality' estimated at $1.2m


2015-06-26 12:35:42


Bonhams auctions Auerbach art of 'museum quality' estimated at $1.2m

'Museum quality' fresh-to-market 20th century art will include masterpieces by Moore, Lowry and Yeats

An important painting by Frank Auerbach entitled E.O.W., Nude on Bed is one of the highlights of the 20th Century British and Irish art sale, taking place on November 16 at Bonhams New Bond Street.

Estimated at 500,000- 800,000, the painting has been consigned from a North American Institution and has never previously appeared on the auction market. E.O.W., Nude on Bed depicts Estella, a widowed amateur actress, and Auerbach's lover for 23 years.

One of his most regular models, she was referred to as E.O.W. in the titles of his works and it was with Estella that he started the process of working and reworking paintings, which sometimes took hundreds of sittings to complete.

Estella once said of being a sitter: "It was quite an ordeal because he would spend hours on something and the next time he would scrap the whole lot down. That used to upset me terribly. I wondered what I was doing it all for."

The painting is an outstanding example of Auerbach's method, and has been executed on canvas rather than board.

Bonhams is also delighted to offer a work by Henry Moore executed in 1941, entitled Shelter Drawing: Seated Mother and Child. Estimated at 200,000-300,000, the work has only appeared a couple of times in public, including the Tate Gallery's major retrospective of Henry Moore in 2010.

An important painting by Frank Auerbach entitled E.O.W. Nude on Bed

A pencil drawing by Lowry, entitled Swinbury Station executed in 1939 is estimated at 50,000 - 80,000. The picture shows a busy crowd of figures beginning their journey to the Bramleigh v Swinbury football match.

Both Bramleigh and Swinbury appear to be semi-imagined locations in the North West. Lowry is well known for his fantastical compositions, which rarely depict a specific place but are amalgamations of different areas and buildings

Swinbury Station is testament to Lowry's skill as a draughtsman and has never been offered for sale, having been gifted by the artist to the present owner's parents as an engagement present. The picture has been on loan to The Lowry in Salford since 2009.

Highlights by Irish artists represented in the sale include an exceptional painting by Jack Butler Yeats entitled A Giant Reading. The painting is estimated to sell for 70,000 - 100,000 and has always remained in the same private collection.

An unusual subject by Paul Henry A.H.A, one of Ireland's most influential landscape artists, entitled Running for Shelter is estimated to sell for 120,000 - 180,000.

This painting appeared in the artist's annual exhibition in Dublin, where The Irish Times (12 November, 1938), noted Henry's 'emotional response' to the landscape, his 'sense of being alone with nature', and singled out the Running for Shelterpicture.

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