Keith Vaughan (British, 1912-1977) Landscape with Figures 26.7 x 36.2 cm. (10 1/2 x 14 1/4 in.)
Lot 2AR
Keith Vaughan
(British, 1912-1977)
Landscape with Figures 26.7 x 36.2 cm. (10 1/2 x 14 1/4 in.)
Sold for £ 17,500 (US$ 23,030) inc. premium

Lot Details
Keith Vaughan (British, 1912-1977)
Landscape with Figures
titled and dated 'Landscape with Figures 1944' (on the backing sheet, beneath the mount)
wash, gouache, pen and ink
26.7 x 36.2 cm. (10 1/2 x 14 1/4 in.)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    With Leicester Galleries, London, 1966, where acquired by the father of the present owner
    Private Collection, U.K.

    Exhibited
    London, Leicester Galleries, June-August 1966, cat.no.35

    Vaughan, usually celebrated for his male nude paintings, was also a highly accomplished painter of landscapes and still life subjects. During the late 1940s and early 1950s he produced a range of paintings representing groups of figures acting out enigmatic relationships within the confines of sparsely furnished rooms. Often, in such works, tables are laid out with a variety of symbolic, domestic objects that seem to take on greater significance because of their proximity to the emotionally charged figures. In time, Vaughan began to explore still life as an independent subject. In 1950 for example, he exhibited thirty of his new gouaches at the Redfern Gallery. Nine of them were still life paintings of jugs, cups and coffee pots accompanied by various citrus fruits carefully placed on coloured tablecloths and balconies. In an unpublished studio notebook, dating from 1963, Vaughan wrote:

    My early pictures were not, of course, pure gouache. They were mixtures of wax crayon, Indian ink and gouache. And the chemical properties of these different kinds of materials to a large extent determine their own control. They react on each other in certain ways which can be exploited but can not be prevented. You might call it a volatile medium.

    His use of these materials was influenced by the work of Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore and, through them, he obtained a new pictorial variety and surface richness. It was Sutherland who taught Vaughan how to incorporate wax resist into his painting, demonstrating for him the process during the early 1940s. The technique depends on the principle that oily wax repels water-based pigments. When a wash is brushed over an area previously treated with crayon, it is immediately repelled and breaks up into mottled deposits on the wax-coated surface. In this manner Vaughan has achieved remarkable textural results.

    We are grateful to Gerard Hastings, author of Drawing to a Close: The Final Journals of Keith Vaughan (Pagham Press, 2012) and Keith Vaughan: The Photographs (Pagham Press, 2013), for compiling this catalogue entry and to Anthony Hepworth for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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