Frank Auerbach (b.1931)

No artwork currently available for this artist.


    Frank Auerbach was born in Berlin, but has lived in England since 1939. His work focuses on the single model and is charcterised by his use of heavy and thick impasto. Auerbach has increasingly progressed from the earthy tones found in his earlier works, to the use of vivid colours to depict his models.

    Auerbach was born to Jewish parents, his father a lawyer and his mother a former art student. At the outbreak of World War Two Auerbach was sent to England to escape the German Gestapo. His parents remained in Germany and both died in concentration camps. Auerbach spent his childhood at Bunce Court in Kent, a boarding school for Jewish refugee children and during the war the schoolchildren were evacuated to Shropshire. From 1948 to 1952 Auerbach studied at St Martin's School of Art in London, along with taking night classes at Borough Polytechnic with David Bomberg. In 1952 Auerbach studied at the Royal College of At  for a further three years.

    Auerbach held his first solo show at the Beaux-Arts Gallery in London in 1956, where the critic David Sylvester described his exhibition as 'the most exciting and impressive first one-man show by an English painter since Francis Bacon in 1949.' Auerbach exhibited regularly at the Beaux-Arts Gallery until 1963. Two years later he exhibited at the Marlborough Gallery. Auerbach was given an Arts Council retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London in 1978, and has also held solo exhibitions at the British Pavilion, the 1986 Venice Biennale and at Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam (1989). Auerbach has also participated in a number of group shows, which include Tooth and Sons, London (1958), 'Pittsburgh International Exhibition' at the Carnegie Institute (1958,1961), '54/64 Painting and Sculpture of a Decade', Tate Gallery 91964), 'British Painting in the Sixties' held by the Contemporary Arts Society (1964), and 'The Human Clay', held at the Hayward in 1976.

    Auerbach now rarely leaves Britain and lives and works in his studio in London, which he has owned since the 1950's.