Frank Auerbach's EOW painting realises $2.9m at Bonhams

EOW on her Blue Eiderdown V (1963), a painting by British artist Frank Auerbach, has sold for £2m ($2.9m) in a contemporary art auction at Bonhams.

The sale represents a new record for a figurative work by the painter.

Auerbach Blue Eiderdown
Auerbach's work is characterised by thickly applied paint

The work depicts Estella West, Auerbach's onetime lover and muse who features in a large number of his paintings.

Bonhams explains: "Auerbach met West, a widowed mother of three in her thirties, when he was just a teenager - he moved into her basement as a lodger and they became lovers.

"For years, Auerbach painted her obsessively, but E.O.W. on her Blue Eiderdown V, with its wonderfully thick impasto and glorious colours, is the largest and undoubtedly the most impressive of his E. O. W. series."

Other high profile works included Kazuo Shiraga's 1965 sculpture Untitled (Red Fan).

The work made £1.5m ($2.2m).

Shiraga is best known for his highly kinetic expressionist paintings, which he painted with his feet while swinging from a rope.

The present lot is a rare foray into the world of sculpture - a giant fan covered in red lacquer.

It's the first sculpture by Shiraga to appear on the market and its successful sale is likely to lead to more consignments of his work.

The sale took place in London on February 11.  

Sotheby's and Christie's also held contemporary art sales this week.

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