A Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, ‘Froanna’
Pencil and coloured chalks on blue paper
48.3 x 31 cm
This portrait of the artist’s wife Gladys Hoskins (1990-1979), known as Froanna, was made in America where Lewis spent the war years.
The artist bought the distinctive blue paper in a drugstore and the unusual support perhaps inspired his use of coloured chalks. With the exception of the ornate turban, the artist restricts himself to bold lines and a few areas of shading. Nonetheless, he captures a sense of strain and intensity in the sitter, enhanced by the lack of a setting. Lewis was one of the leading British avant-garde artists who explored the lessons of continental modernism.
Purchased with the help of the Art Fund and the MLA/ V&A Purchase Grant Fund in 2006 (No. 2006.3)