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This is a head study of Stella West ('E.O.W'), Auerbach's principal model from the early 1950s until 1963. A related work, 'Head of E.O.W V, is also on display here. Both paintings belong to a series of life size frontal heads on which Auerbach worked between late 1960 and summer 1961. The paint is built up and has an almost sculptural quality. This is the result of repeated overpainting of previous images on the same board, and is an extreme example of Auerbach's endeavour to convey a sense of his accumulated experience of the model.

September 2004