Marlborough is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Frank Auerbach (b. 1931) that will include paintings and drawings spanning the artist’s entire career, from the 1950s to the present day. Some 25 works will be on display, including new works that have never been exhibited. The exhibition will include both the portraits and urban landscapes for which the artist is so well known and a new self-portrait in graphite and pastel on paper.
Auerbach is noted for the lasting relationships he develops with his sitters and this exhibition will include several portraits depicting his most longstanding models: Stella West, (known as E.O.W.), who modelled for him from the 1950s to 1973; Julia Yardley Mills (J.Y.M.); art historian Ruth Bromberg, who sat every week for 17 years until she was forced to stop due to ill health (Auerbach’s last painting of her will be on display); Julia Auerbach, who is one of the earliest models still sitting; Catherine Lampert, who began to sit in 1978, and David Landau, founder of Print Quarterly, who has been sitting for over 30 years. Auerbach employs an idiosyncratic manner of painting that requires physical exertion as well as mental application and means that many of his works take years to complete. He reworks the image at each sitting, scraping away all existing traces to begin anew.
Auerbach strives to capture the essence of his subjects and this search for unassailable truth in his work has been well documented. Speaking to Catherine Lampert he has said that, ‘Painting for me is a set of connections, a set of sensations of conflicting movements and experiences, which somehow, one hopes, hascongealed or cohered or risen out of the battle into being an image that stands up for itself.’
The exhibition will also include landscape works, including Park Village East from the Bridge (2003). All Auerbach’s landscapes concentrate on Camden Town and other parts of north London, where the artist has lived since 1947. Auerbach, who was born in Berlin, left Germany at the age of seven and went to school in Kent before moving to London to study at St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art.
His early work is characterised by heavy impasto, in rich, earthy colours and more recent works tend to manifest in a brighter palette as well as pastel tones. In her new publication Frank Auerbach: Speaking and Painting, Lampert has said of his style that, ‘the mind taking in the image is entranced, jostled and buffeted, with the eye alighting on streaks and globules...variety and daring makes his work so thrilling to those on the other side of the footlights, and so universal.’
The exhibition will also display drawings, including Portrait of Leon Kossoff (1950), Head of E.O.W. (1956), Head of Ken Garland (1978) and J.Y.M. Seated II (1980). A selection of the works in the exhibition, those made between 1950 and 2000, will also go on display at Frieze Masters, 14 – 18 October 2015. The display will constitute the third in a series of single-artist booths presented by Marlborough at Frieze Masters, following the presentation of Francis Bacon last year and Victor Pasmore in 2013.