LONDON.- Frank Auerbachs paintings are the full results of tremendous application. They may appear sudden -instantaneous even- but they are feats of concentration. Studied yet impulsive, ranging from darkness to radiance and from the declamatory to the subdued, they are keyed to an air of resolve as unguarded as joy, as involuntary as grief. From the earliest portrait heads to recent sightings of the tower blocks beyond Mornington Crescent, glorified as the sun strikes them, theres a constant quickening, a pulse of the here and now. William Feaver.
Frank Auerbach will show 20 new works, landscapes and portrait paintings and drawings, in his first London exhibition for five years. Tower blocks on the Hampstead Road, Mornington Crescent, the view from Auerbachs studio entrance all become subjects for landscape. Auerbachs persistent familiarity with his corner of North London is echoed in his models, close friends and family members who have committed to a regime of regular sittings week in week out over many years. To paint the same head over and over leads to unfamiliarity; eventually you get near the raw truth about it, just as people only blurt out the raw truth in the middle of a family quarrel. Auerbachs heads attempt a presence underpinned by likeness. His working practise of continual application and scraping-down of paint puts down a palimpsest as foundation and although the final work is seemingly the result of one sitting, it takes months, often years, of weekly sessions to capture something affecting and true.
The exhibition will mark the publication by Rizzoli of William Feavers monograph. There will be 200 colour plates and a separate reference section comprising images of Auerbachs works to date - many never before reproduced, ISBN: 978-0-8478-3058-9. A deluxe limited edition including a new etching will also be available, ISBN: 978-0-8478-3303-0.
A small survey of Auerbachs printmaking will also be shown. Commencing with a group of his earliest drypoints, from when he was a student at the Royal College of Art in 1954, to his most recent series of four highly acclaimed etchings on the largest scale the artist has undertaken to date.