A group of preeminent artists who worked in London – including Michael Andrews, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, RB Kitaj and Leon Kossoff – will take centre stage in New York this winter at a new exhibition at Ordovas gallery from November 3 until January 18. London Painters puts self-portraits, portraits and London city scenes in the spotlight, showcasing these artists’ commitment to form in the face of abstraction and conceptual art.
Many of the works on view – some on loan and many for sale (from $46,000) – illustrate the ways these artists shared their subjects and their lives. Both Bacon and Freud painted portraits of Bacon’s lover George Dyer, and included in the exhibition is Man in a Blue Shirt, 1965, one of two portraits that Freud drew of Dyer. Andrews’ Portrait of Jane, a painting of Lady Willoughby de Eresby, is paired here with Freud’s Woman with Fair Hair-Portrait II, which depicts the subject some 30 years earlier.
Friends Frank Auerbach and Kossoff – both lovers of thick, boldly applied oil paint, and who worked in the same studio after Kossoff passed his Camden space to Auerbach in the 1950s – have London landscapes on display: The Pillar Box III, 2010-2011, and Stormy Summer Day, Dalston Lane from 1975. Elsewhere, Kitaj’s The Neo-Cubist, 1976-1987, depicts the artist’s closest friend, David Hockney, in all his bespectacled glory. A special inclusion also sees Freud’s haunting Self-Portrait from 2002, which has only been exhibited once before in the inaugural Met Breuer exhibition, Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, in 2016.