​tate britain announces autumn exhibition of frank auerbach’s work

The German painter’s impressive body of uncompromising work to get an overdue retrospective.

by Felix Petty
11 March 2015, 12:40pm

Frank Auerbach, Primrose Hill, 1971, Courtesy of Daniel Katz

Frank Auerbach has famously painted every single day, in the same studio, since 1954. His working process has changed very little in that time too, starting afresh each day, scraping back the surface of paint on his canvases for months or years until the painting is finished quickly, taking him by surprise. This gives his work a visceral, three dimensional shape, like sculptures crafted from paint; thick and tactile and run-through with grooves and layers of images.

The same can be said of his body of work as a whole, often painting the same sitter or landscape repeatedly over long periods of time. He describes each new representation as having "a strong sense of wanting to pin experience down before it disappears." This makes his work uniquely viewable (and not easily translated online or in books), making this exhibition even more exciting, especially since much of his work is held in private collections and is not often on public display.

Frank Auerbach, Head of J.Y.M ll, 1984-85, Courtesy of Javier Baz

The exhibition will include everything from his early portraits (he painted the exhibition's curator every week for 37 years) to his landscapes of post-war London being rebuilt after the Second World War up to his current work. The Tate have said that the exhibition will reaffirm Aurebach's "status as one of the pre-eminent painters of our age."

Frank Auerbach opens 9 October 2015 - 7 February 2016 at Tate Britain, Linbury Galleries.


Text Felix Petty
Images courtesy Tate

Tate Britain
Frank Auerbach