Jackie Wullschlager visits the studio of painter Frank Auerbach.
Wullschlager writes that Auerbach's "working pattern has been unchanged for decades. He rises with the dawn, goes out to draw, returns to the studio “where I will have a painting on the go. Instead of staring at this painting and making aesthetic decisions, I look at the drawing, which is like a note. Then I repaint, scrape, repaint the painting, it never takes less than months, sometimes years. Then there’s a point, a coup de foudre, like an explosion, when something rather radical happens, something I hadn’t foreseen, and it is finished. But there can be false finishes. And not everything will work. I go to considerable lengths to destroy what I don’t like. If I hadn’t edited as much as I have, I would be deeply depressed. Matisse said, ‘My only enemies are my bad pictures.’ "
Abramowitz writes: "As is typical of his paintings, [Auerbach's] drawings often show many layers of built-up re-workings until there is a dense mangle of lines, each mark thought through, erased and re-considered until he is satisfied... His working process results in portraits that are both an expression of his reaction to the sitter, and his own idiosyncratic way of working, creating, destroying, and creating anew."
McKenzie writes: "Kitaj was one of the most formidable and articulate artists to develop a personal iconography drawing inspiration from a range of sources. The human figure is central to his work, and in this he was against the ascendant position of abstract art."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.