Self Portrait II

1966

Lessore, Helen
Helen Lessore was born as Helen Brook in 1907 in London. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London from 1924 to 1928. In 1931 she became secretary at the Beaux Arts Gallery, London, owned by art dealer and sculptor Fredrick Lessore, who became her husband in 1934. Following his death in 1951, she assumed responsibility for the gallery. Throughout her directorship, Lessore sought to exhibit and promote the work of many graduates of the Royal College of Art and the Slade, who were relatively unknown at the time. These included Craigie Aitchison, Michael Andrews, Francis Bacon, Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach. 'Self Portrait II' was produced after the closure of the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1965. It was a period in which Lessore was able to devote more time and energy to painting. Many of her works depicted interior spaces, her extensive family and gatherings of artistic friends. Her achievements were recognized by a retrospective at the Fine Art Society in 1987, and her election as a Senior Royal Academician in the same year. Lessore died in 1994, leaving a legacy of investment in a humanist notion of art; she appealed for 'an art – a new movement – which should acknowledge the dignity, the beauty, the mystery, of 'ordinary' life, or 'ordinary' people.' Felice McDowell
  • Artwork Details: 28 x 23cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: oil on canvas
  • Credit line: © The Estate of Helen Lessore c/o Henry and John Lessore
  • Theme: Portrait
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: AC 967

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