Born Berlin, Germany
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 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, 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 type print
Medium etching on paper
Unframed 20 x 16.5 cm
Framed 43.5 x 31 cm
Signed signed and dated, bottom right: Auerbach 90
Acquisition Presented by the artist 1994
Accession number 1994-17vii
Display status On display in 'Refugees: The Lives of Others' until 4 June 2017
The son of German-Jewish refugees, Michael Podro was Head of Art History at Camberwell School of Art (1961–67), when he and Auerbach became friends. Podro read English at Cambridge, then studied at the Slade School of Art for a year, before embarking on a PhD under noted art historian Ernst Gombrich and philosopher Richard Wollheim. Podro first wrote about Auerbach’s work in 1969. Later, reviewing the artist’s 2001 Royal Academy retrospective, Podro observed: ‘Auerbach’s work has a constantly self-revising dynamic which never allows the subject to disengage from the distinctive properties of the painter’s medium’.