Hester Finch - What Now?: Online Auction Hong Kong Thursday, February 2, 2023 | Phillips
  • “My works are intended to be read as a psychological space as well as a domestic interior” —— Hester Finch


    Born in London in 1981, Hester Finch obtained her BA from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University in 2002. Making use of traditional mediums such as pastels and oil paint, the British artist mostly depicts graceful and powerful nude portraits of female subjects. Her paintings display scenes with a familiar and reassuring appeal, such as a naked woman relaxing in the intimacy of her home, or amidst a picturesque landscape, but she renders them “in a state of taut anxiety”, i adding dark and complex nuances to the representation of the quotidian.



    The artist in her studio
    Image: Courtesy the artist 


    In the 2015 work Portrait of a Lady: Headless Nude (Seated, Grey/Green/Orange), a headless female body seats on a chair with her legs crossed, posing in a domestic setting against a tricoloured background. The choice of ‘decapitating’ her women figures, as the artist puts it, is at once “an act of violence and empowerment”.ii It invites the viewers to focus on the informal pose and lack of social restraints of female bodies in a safe space, as exposing their face would imply assigning a precise identity to these subjects, making them more vulnerable in relation to observers.


    Finch’s works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. Her latest shows include The Portrait of a Lady II at the House of St. Barnabas, London in 2016, The Portrait of a Lady I at David Krut Project Space with Jessica Carlisle, New York (12 May – 13 June 2015), the group show Unsafe at Any Speed at Morton Street Partners (15 March – 8 May 2022) and The Holy Grail at OHSH Projects, London (4 – 26 June 2021).


    I Hester Finch, quoted in Lucy Bourton, ‘Hester Finch’s Artworks Portray Normal Instances “Rendered in a State of Taut Anxiety”’, It’s Nice That, 12 July 2019, online

    II Hester Finch, quoted by Kate Przybyla, ‘Hester Finch on… The School of London: The Artist talks reimagining the nude, fuelled by the 20th century greats of figurative painting’, Liberty, online

    • Provenance

      Jessica Carlisle Gallery, London
      Private Collection
      Phillips, London, 18 Febuary 2021, lot 22
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York, David Krut Projects and Jessica Carlisle Gallery, Hester Finch: The Portrait of a Lady, 12 May - 13 June 2015


Portrait of a Lady: Headless Nude (Seated, Grey/ Green/ Orange)

signed, signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated 'HESTER FINCH "HEADLESS NUDE (SEATED, GREY/GREEN/ORANGE)" 2015 HF' on the reverse
oil on linen laid on panel, in artist's frame
work 25.4 x 20.3 cm. (10 x 7 7/8 in.)
frame 27 x 22 cm. (10 5/8 x 8 5/8 in.)

Painted in 2015.

Full Cataloguing

HK$10,000 - 20,000 

Sold for HK$13,860

Contact Specialist

Hin Hin Wong

Associate Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong

+852 2318 2013


What Now?: Online Auction

Online Auction 2 - 9 February 2023