Frank Auerbach’s exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London

ID 39 Image courtesy of Tate Britain

Frank Auerbach’s exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London

Frank Auerbach (born 1931, Berlin) is a British artist who has made some of the most vibrant, alive and inventive paintings of recent times. Often compared to Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud in terms of the revolutionary and powerful nature of his work, his depictions of people and the urban landscapes near his London studio show him to be one of the greatest painters alive today.

001Image courtesy of Tate Britain

Tate Britain’s exhibition, featuring paintings and drawings from the 1950s to the present day, offers fascinating new insights into his work the artist suggesting the selection of the first six galleries. The depth, texture and sense of space in a painting by Auerbach makes standing in front of one a unique and unforgettable experience. For half a century he has lived and worked in the same part of London, in Camden Town, one of the major subjects of his work. ‘What I wanted to do was to record the life that seemed to me to be passionate and exciting and disappearing all the time.’

Rimbaud 1976 by Frank Auerbach born 1931Image courtesy of Tate Britain

Painting 365 days a year, he has continued discarding what he does, scraping back the surface of the canvas to start and re-start the painting process daily, continuing afresh for months or years until the single painting is realised in a matter of hours, having finally surprised him, seeming true and robust. Curator of the exhibition and selector of the last two rooms, Catherine Lampert, has had a long working relationship with Auerbach, and has sat for him in his studio every week for 37 years.

Jake 1990 by Frank Auerbach born 1931Image courtesy of Tate Britain

This exhibition shows that whilst he continually paints the same sitters and sometimes returns to a particular London location, each painting can be considered for its own merits rather than be judged by style or period.

Frank Auerbach
Tate Britain: Exhibition
9 October 2015 – 13 March 2016

more. www.tate.org.uk

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