Auerbach doesn’t visualise a picture before he begins, instead he constantly works and reworks it until the final image emerges. He has said “I want everything in the painting to work, that is, every force, every plane, every direction to relate to every other direction in the painting ... I feel very strongly that if a painting is going to work, it has to work before you have a chance to read it”.
Auerbach: Albert Street III
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on board 61.3 x 50.8 cm Private Collection © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Gallery
Born in 1931 in Berlin to Jewish parents, Auerbach was sent to England in 1939 to escape Nazism. After studying in a number of art schools, including the Royal College of Art, he moved to Camden, where he has lived and painted in the same studio since the 1950s. Frank Auerbach’s paintings are some of the most resonant, inventive and perpetually alive works of art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Since his early works, his intentions have been consistent: ‘To record the life that seemed to me to be passionate and exciting and disappearing all the time’.