Auberach’s Intimitable Magic

Primrose-Hill-1971-Painti-009-700x357Simon Tait at The London Magazine:

When Frank Auerbach first came to public notice – emerged rather than burst – in the 1950s he was noted as a “British Expressionist” in the white hot enthusiasm for the American abstract colourists Clement Greenberg (not to mention the American government) was punting around the world with spectacular success.

It was a gross misreading of his work. Auerbach was not concerned with conveying an emotional response but has spent his life examining his changing relationship with objects, people and scenes to which he has returned repeatedly for 60 years. He is part of an extraordinary post-war flourish of British talent that was too often only seen in the context of the likes of Pollock, Rothko and Newman and, difficult though it can sometimes be to read, Auerbach’s work is never abstract in the sense of internalised perception. His paintings are not mere expressions, they are evocations, and although the paint is applied very quickly and often in large amounts, the process can be prolix. Often they require long consideration by the viewer, a case in which patience is always rewarded as a form gradually becomes plain from a maelstrom of paint. That is Auerbach’s inimitable magic.

more here.