Auerbach worked on this painting of Primrose Hill, a park in North London, for a year. He collected together around 50 drawings of the park, made during different seasons and times of day, and used them all as a reference for his ever-changing painting. During its composition, Auerbach often scraped back and repainted the work, turning it upside down and adding more detail from all angles.
All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life
Original: Oil paint on board 121.9 x 146.7 cm Tate. Purchased 1971© 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’.