FRED YATES – THE STUDIO SALE. PART 1

23 April 2024

" ... It is the man in the street that I'm after, whom I feel closest to, with whom I want to make friends and enter into confidence and connivance, and he is the one I want to please and enchant by means of my work."

Self-portrait smoking a pipe £300-500
Self-portrait smoking a pipe £300-500

Bellmans are delighted to be offering an extensive selection of works from the Estate of Fred Yates. Inspired by the work of fellow-Lancastrian, LS Lowry, the archive is testament to Yates insatiable desire to paint the seemingly every day, with a manner and application that elevates his subjects and imbues them with riotous joy. Like Lowry, the ostensibly naive rendering of paint belies an acute observation and sensitivity, with each detail revealing defining aspects of character, atmosphere and place.

The Girl in the Window £800-1200
The Girl in the Window £800-1200

Born in Urmston, Lancashire Yates worked as an insurance clerk before joining the Grenadier Guards and serving during World War II. Following the war, with his serviceman’s grant, he got a place on a drawing, print-making and painting course at Bournemouth teacher training college before winning a scholarship to Rome. In order to make ends meet he taught art but his gentle nature meant lessons were far from disciplined and he became a full-time artist in 1968.

Neighbours in the street £600-800
Neighbours in the street £600-800

He settled in Cornwall with the coastline and local characters providing rich inspiration. His first one-man show was held in 1976 at Reynolds gallery in Plymouth and his reputation and success grew throughout the following decades with an exhibition at Thompson’s gallery in London in 1992. Soon after Yates moved to France, living at numerous addresses in Beaume De Venise, the Haute-Vienne, the Rhone-Alps and Provence; the lush riviera inspired Yates to experiment with his technique, often applying vast amounts of oil paint with his fingers.

The Sweet Shop £400-600
The Sweet Shop £400-600

In July 2008 Yates had found a house in Frome, Somerset but sadly died of a heart-attack on his way to complete the purchase. He is buried at Marazion graveyard, overlooking St. Michael’s Mount, one of his favourite subjects. In 2011 Penlee House Gallery held a joint exhibition of his work, along with that of Bryan Pearce and Joan Gilchrest, called ‘Different Ways of Seeing’. Having lost his brother in action at Operation Market Garden, Yates always struggled to maintain close, long-term relationships and he died without heir or a will meaning his estate is in the care of the Government Legal Department.

Night off, Night on £400-600
Night off, Night on £400-600
Reclining male nude £500-800
Reclining male nude £500-800

These lots will be included in our May Modern British & 20th Century Art Auction

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