I think all good paintings look as though the painting has escaped from the thicket of prepared positions and has entered some sort of freedom where it exists on its own, and by its own laws, and inexplicably has got free of all possible explanations.
– Frank Auerbach
On October 31, Luhring Augustine Chelsea will debut a solo exhibition of Frank Auerbach’s paintings and drawings that will celebrate the mature career of a singular artist. Spanning from the late 1970s to recent works, the selection of his portraits and landscapes on view will underscore Auerbach’s great achievements in painting in the post-war era. The first show of his work in New York of this scale since 2006, the exhibition will be on view through December 19 and accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Auerbach’s work exists outside of any specific period or style. Employing an energetic impasto technique to render his subjects, he creates figurative paintings through an intensive daily regimen. The exhibition highlights portraits of a group of his devoted sitters, some of whom he has been painting since the 1970s and still pose for him regularly today. The paintings are often the result of months of labor: at the end of a day of work, he will frequently scrape down the entire surface of the piece in order to start anew in his next attempt; each rejected endeavor a pursuit toward the final expression. The landscape paintings are derived from sketches Auerbach makes in locations close to Mornington Crescent in Camden Town, London, the area near the studio where he has worked since 1954. With his distinct idiom Auerbach imagines the quotidian scenes of parks, streets, and buildings around his familiar neighborhood.
About the Artist
Born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, Frank Auerbach has been living in England since 1939. Auerbach studied painting at Borough Polytechnic, and received degrees from St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art. In 1986 the artist represented Great Britain at the XLII Venice Biennale, for which he, along with Sigmar Polke, was awarded the Golden Lion Prize. He has been the subject of solo shows at The Hayward Gallery, London; Kunstverein, Hamburg; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; The National Gallery, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; and The Courtauld Gallery, London. In 2015 a major retrospective exhibition of Auerbach’s work was presented at Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany and Tate Britain, London. His works are included in prestigious collections worldwide including the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; British Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery, London; National Portrait Gallery, London; and Tate, London.