Ben Uri collection


Series: Part of Seven Portraits

Artist information

Name Frank Auerbach (1931-)

Born Berlin, Germany

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Frank Auerbach was born in Berlin to Jewish parents in 1931 and immigrated to England in 1939 (naturalised in 1947); his parents, who remained behind, subsequently perished in concentration camps. Auerbach spent his childhood at Bunce Court, a progressive boarding school in Kent for Jewish refugee children. He attended St Martin’s School of Art (1948-52) and studied at David Bomberg’s evening classes at Borough Polytechnic together with Leon Kossoff, as well as at the Royal College of Art from 1952-55. Shortly after completing his studies, he was given his first solo exhibition (1956) by dealer Helen Lessore at the Beaux- Arts Gallery, where he exhibited regularly until 1963, and then at Marlborough Galleries from 1965 to the present. He has had retrospectives at the Hayward Gallery (1978), Tate (2016) and solo exhibitions at the British Pavilion in the 1986 Venice Biennale and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (1989). His work is represented in collections throughout the UK and USA. Frank Auerbach lives and works in London.

Object Details

Date 1990

Object type print

Medium Etching, printed on Somerset white paper, artist's proof outside the published edition of 50

Materials and techniques etching (technique) paper (support)

Unframed 20 x 16.5 cm

Framed 43.5 x 31 cm

Signed signed and dated (lower right) 'Auerbach 90', also inscribed (lower left) 'Proof', and titled (lower centre) 'Jake'

Acquisition presented by the artist 1994

Accession number 1994-17iv

Display status On display in 'Refugees: The Lives of Others' until 4 June 2017

Jake Auerbach (b. 1958) is a producer and documentary film maker, whose work includes a series on contemporary artists such as Paula Rego, Allen Jones, Lucian Freud and his father Frank Auerbach. This lithograph is part of a series of etchings of friends and family entitled Seven Portraits, drawn by the artist with a Japanese screwdriver bought from his local Woolworth's. The etchings were made to accompany the deluxe edition of Robert Hughes’ Frank Auerbach monograph in 1990 and were proofed and printed by Marc Balakjian at Studio Prints.

The portrait of Jake demonstrates a strong similarity to Auerbach’s expressive impasto painting. In etching, the longer the plate is exposed to acid, the more deeply-bitten the resulting lines will be. Jake’s plate was initially bitten for over four hours, then Auerbach added further lines and the plate was bitten for another nine hours, culminating in a thickness of form which distinguishes it from the other sitters in Seven Portraits.

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© Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

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