Michael Andrews (British, 1928-1995) Portrait of Victor Willing at the seaside 23.7 x 23.7 cm. (9 3/8 x 9 3/8 in.)

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Lot 50
Michael Andrews
(British, 1928-1995)
Portrait of Victor Willing at the seaside 23.7 x 23.7 cm. (9 3/8 x 9 3/8 in.)

Sold for £ 45,600 (US$ 62,668) inc. premium
Michael Andrews (British, 1928-1995)
Portrait of Victor Willing at the seaside
oil on board
23.7 x 23.7 cm. (9 3/8 x 9 3/8 in.)
Painted in 1967

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With Marlborough Fine Art, London
    Barbara Lloyd
    Private Collection, U.K.

    EXHIBITED:
    London, Hayward Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, Michael Andrews, 31 October 1980 - 11 January 1981, no.65, where lent by Barbara Lloyd as Study of a Head for a Group of Figures: this exhibition travelled to Edinburgh, Fruit Market Gallery, 24 January - 21 February 1981 and Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, 6 March - 20 April 1981
    London, Tate Gallery, Michael Andrews, 19 July-7 October 2001, no.26, as Study of a Head for a Group of Figures No 7

    LITERATURE:
    William Feaver and Paul Moorhouse, Michael Andrews, Tate Publishing, London, 2001, p.92, no.26 (col.ill)

    Michael Andrews is justly regarded as one of Britain's leading post-war artists. He worked notoriously slowly and as such any work to appear at auction by him is something of a rarity.

    His career began in the 1950s at The Slade, studying under William Coldstream and he became an important figure in 'The School of London', alongside major names such as Auerbach, Kossoff, Bacon and Freud. His colleagues rated his work highly and the latter even commented that Andrews only created "masterpieces".

    Andrews was always preoccupied with the psychology of studying people and in particular, people he knew. During the 1960s, this developed into an interest with parties and the varied social interaction that would ensue. The present work is an extremely fine example from the period, enjoying extensive exhibition history and dating from 1967.

    Until recently this work has been known as Study of a Head for a Group of Figures, however conversation between the present owner and Paula Rego reveal it to be a portrait of Victor Willing. He painted this work whilst on holiday with his fellow artist and good friend, Willing. Rego recalls that her husband had rested his head on a cardboard cut out body – the likes of which can be found on the promenades of many British resorts. This explains the apparent division between head and body, the blurry portrait sitting atop a brightly coloured and clearly depicted body. During this time Andrews was working on (arguably) his strongest work, Good and Bad at Games, and the likeness of Willing recorded here is clearly identifiable in the larger triptych.

    The exceptional provenance, subject, date and quality combine to establish this lot as an exciting opportunity to acquire (a hitherto miscatalogued) oil by one of Britain's most desirable artists of the 20th century.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this work should be titled 'Study of a Head for a Group of Figures no.7' and will be included in the catalogue raisonne of Michael Andrews currently under preparation by James Hyman.
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