Keith Vaughan (British, 1912-1977) Group of Figures 15.2 x 13.9 cm. (6 x 5 1/2 in.)
Lot 1AR
Keith Vaughan
(British, 1912-1977)
Group of Figures 15.2 x 13.9 cm. (6 x 5 1/2 in.)
Sold for £10,000 (US$ 16,328) inc. premium

Lot Details
Keith Vaughan (British, 1912-1977)
Group of Figures
signed 'Keith Vaughan' (lower right); titled and dated 'Group of Figures/1965' (on a label attached to the backboard)
gouache, ink and wax resist
15.2 x 13.9 cm. (6 x 5 1/2 in.)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private Collection, U.K.

    Vaughan had always been interested in the theme of assembling groups of figures and had been particularly struck by the exotic crowds he discovered gathering in the markets at Marrakech and Taroudannt in 1965. The intensity of mood, light and, in particular, the concentration of rich Moroccan colours impressed him:

    The cotton djellabas start a deep indigo blue and bleach in the sun through every tone of the colour until they reach a bluish white. The same dye must be used in the paint on all the shutters in Essaouira which are indigo inside and pale cobalt outside (Keith Vaughan: Journals & Drawings, Alan Ross, 1966, p.212).

    1965 was a veritable gouache year for Vaughan and he produced a huge number of them. He described his gouache technique as a 'volatile medium' and combined his pigment with ink, pastels and wax-resist. Towards the end of July Vaughan confided just how obsessive and time-consuming his gouache process was. He wrote:

    The routine continues. I start the day with gouache. I have no particular idea in mind, but there is nothing else to do. After breakfast, I get out the pots and jars and rags and paper. It is quite systematized now. I have been doing it since last November. Like everything else – compulsive. And it adds up to agonised futility. Yet the effect of it is no more futile than other people's routine. But mine is solitary. It involves no one else. I have done more gouaches that ever can be shown or sold. Yet I continue to do them because there is nothing else I can do (Keith Vaughan, Journal: July 26, 1965).

    We are grateful to Anthony Hepworth for his assistance in cataloguing this lot and to Gerard Hastings, author of Keith Vaughan: The Photographs (Pagham Press, 2013), for compiling the catalogue entry.
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