Patrick Heron's Grey and Yellow (With Circle) to lead Sotheby's Abstraction sale

Grey and Yellow (With Circle) by Patrick Heron (1920-1999) will lead Sotheby's Abstraction sale in London on December 10.

The work, painted between October 1958 and February 1959, will lead the sale with an estimate of £400,000-600,000 ($655,400-983,100).

Patrick Heron Grey Yellow
Grey and Yellow (With Circle) has been exhibited in a number of high profile galleries, including the Tate in London

Heron was one of the most significant British painters of the 20th century. A member of the St Ives-based group of artists that included Barbara Hepworth among its members, he spent much of his working life in his adopted Cornwall.

All five of his paintings in the sale date to the late 1950s and early 1960s, when he began to draw upon the influence of American abstract art.

Another painting in the sale, Atmospheric Strata (1958), displays the vibrant stripes of colour for which he is perhaps best known. It carries an estimate of £300,000-500,000 ($491,550-819,250).

Heron wrote in an essay in Studio International in 1969: "Early in 1957, when painting my first horizontal and vertical colour-stripe painting, the reason why the stripes sufficed, as the formal vehicle of the colour, was precisely that they were so very uncomplicated as shapes.

"I realised that the emptier the general format was, the more exclusive the concentration upon the experience of colour itself."

Despite the admiration that many artists and critics felt for Heron, it is only in recent years that the value of his work has risen.

At the time of his death in 1999 the value of his painting was set at around £10,000 ($16,385), however this price point has risen significantly.

In 2011 the record for a work by the artist was set at £1m ($1.6m) at Sotheby's London for The Blue Table with Window.

PFC Auctions is currently offering this Royal Mail card signed by Damien Hirst, David Hockney and Peter Blake.

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