Frank Auerbach – Texture, Texture, Ah Texture [born 1931; mostly Expressionism]

The most exciting and impressive first one-man show by an English painter since Francis Bacon in 1949,” wrote David Sylvester in The Listener.

I am writing this post driven by a comment of a friend of mine on a photo of a painting of Auerbach – one of his distorted, gray / bnw portraits: he thought it was too simple and he could do it as well without any trouble. The complexity of the painting was indeed not obvious in the photo but the genius of Auerbach, one of my favourite painters in the world, is obvious! Let’s detail this a little.

The first time I saw Auerbach, I was literally hit by the texture of his paintings. From the distance, the painting looks normal, figurations – mostly portraits, beautiful in the context the color creates, but as you get closer you discover  incredible volume and texture. The painting almost becomes an engraving, there

are so many layers of painting that it look like coming out of the canvas. It’s a fascinating effect, you can’t help wondering how is that possible. I will return to Auerbach and his incredible technique briefly, but if you are in London get up now, go to Courtauld Gallery or Tate and see Auerbach. Close-up!

Featured image from here.


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