Frank Auerbach, Next Door II, 2012, oil on board, 50.8 x 45.7 cm (courtesy of Marlborough Fine Art)
Hannah Rothschild visits the studio of painter Frank Auerbach on the occasion of the upcoming exhibition Raw Truth Auerbach − Rembrandt at Ordovas Gallery, London, on view from October 4 - December 1, 2013.
Asked about when a picture is finished Auerbach responds: "I want everything in the painting to work, that is, every force, every plane, every direction to relate to every other direction in the painting – so there’s no paradiddle or blot somewhere. I feel very strongly that if a painting is going to work, it has to work before you have a chance to read it. Great Rembrandts shake you. There is a tension between unity and difference; one great wave or wind holding it all together as one. A [good] painting concentrates the experience of being."
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."
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.’ "
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.