Expert Voices: Frank Auerbach's Mornington Crescent & J.Y.M. Seated II

London | 27 June 2023

Morning Crescent and J.Y.M. Seated II are two seminal paintings by Frank Auerbach that represent the artist’s celebrated investigation into the genres of portraiture and the cityscape. Executed eighteen years apart, both works exemplify Auerbach’s expressive use and colour and a faultless display of decisive and heavily impasto brushwork.

Mornington Crescent is an incredibly rare and large-scale example from Auerbach’s 1960s output, and belongs to his ambitious and highly acclaimed body of landscapes. This work ranks among the largest paintings in Auerbach’s catalogue raisonné and possesses a chromatic register that is unsurpassed.

J.Y.M. Seated II is an important portrait of one of Frank Auerbach’s most celebrated sitters, Juliet Yardley Mills. Executed in 1987, this painting is an exceptional exposition of Auerbach’s mature style and sits at the very height of his canon of portraiture. Amid swathes of dramatic brushwork, the sculptural surface of the canvas is reworked time and time again as the tangible intensity of Auerbach’s subject materialises.

Both works are being offered in the Modern and Contemporary Evening Auction, featuring Face to Face: A Celebration of Portraiture on 27 June at Sotheby's London.

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