Frank Auerbach’s Head of J.Y.M. of 1984-1985 is a snapshot from a dedicated relationship with one of his most celebrated and recognised sitters, Julia Yardley Mills, also known as J.Y.M.. Auerbach completed over seventy portraits and studies of J.Y.M. over four decades, with the present work being executed nearly twenty years into their relationship. Emerging from darkness and painted with raw intensity, the expressive impasto strokes capture and illuminate the subject’s enigmatic gaze to create one of the artist’s greatest portraits of J.Y.M. to date. This masterpiece emerging from Auerbach’s powerful 1980s period of work will be one of the highlights of the Contemporary Evening Auction in London on 14 October at 19:00 BST. Watch the livestream on Sothebys.com.
A Gleam of Light, Warmth & Life: Oliver Barker on Frank Auerbach’s “Head of J.Y.M.”
London | 14 October 2022