Frank Auerbach

 Frank Auerbach, Head of EOW, 1955

Frank Auerbach, Head of EOW, 1956

Frank Auerbach, Rebuilding the Empire Cinema Leicester Square, 1962

  • Saturday 17 May 2014 - Sunday 10 August 2014
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • FREE

This display showcases a significant collection of work by Frank Auerbach, one of Britain’s most celebrated living painters. Spanning the artist’s career from 1950 – 2005, the works have been drawn from the extensive private collection of Auerbach’s work held by the artist’s long-standing friend, Lucian Freud. The collection, which was accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax on Freud's estate, has been acquired for the nation by the Arts Council England and many works will be shown here for the first time, before the entire collection goes on display at Tate Britain from August.

With over twenty of Auerbach’s most significant oil and paper works on show, the display highlights the artist’s distinctive style of thick impasto paintings, rough charcoal drawings and vivid, impulsive depictions of the world around him. These works, which Freud admired, collected and exhibited in his London home over many years include Rebuilding the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, 1962; which is considered a masterpiece from Auerbach’s oil painting series that denotes the artist’s fascination with the post-war attempts to rebuild London.

Major portraits within the show include Auerbach’s Head of EOW III 1963-64 which illustrates Auerbach’s impasto style of painting and reveals that the artist employed the same principal models throughout his career, namely his close friend Estella (Stella) West ('E.O.W.') and his wife Julia who is illustrated in his charcoal sketches. These works reveal how the familiarity Auerbach had with his subject enabled a more insightful way of painting; creating more expressive depictions of the sitter.

The works on paper displayed within the exhibition range from fine finished portraits, including the remarkable charcoal Head of Julia 1991-92, to five intimate sketches sent from Auerbach to Freud on his birthday.

Images

Frank Auerbach
Head of EOW, 1955
oil on board
78.7 x 66 cms
© the artist

Frank Auerbach
Head of EOW, 1956
charcoal and chalk on paper
76.2 x 55.9 cm
© the artist

Frank Auerbach
Rebuilding the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, 1962
oil on board
152.4 x 152.4 cm
© the artist

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