FRANK AUERBACH at Tate Britain
9 October – 13 March
What is going on here? You can feel a sense of power within this work but is that all?
I guess it is labeled under post expressionism and it is very removed from traditional painting or drawing. Frank’s sense of the spatial is quite unique and at the same time annoyingly scrappy. Buckets of paint slung onto the surface in unspectacular fashion – I guess cunningly maneuvered into an image such as in the painting E.O.W., S.A.W. and J.J.W. in the Garden l , 1963 – which also reminded me of Marylin Monroe. There is a distinct lack of tone and life in the colour of Auerbach – possibly due to his dirty paintbrushes that dulled the work – yuk!
I did ‘get’ the sculptural nature of some of his clever drawings for sure. Reversible frames that go inside each other, so this could be where his sense of space exists. After exhaustive efforts to take this heavy building site of artwork in, it was much to my relief to breeze out and into Tate ‘s beautiful permanent collection like a bed of roses (and rightly so!).
I could but wonder why some Art has to be re-invented Auerbach’s way. On a brighter note it did take me back to life at Art school so that can’t be a bad thing at all.
One to love or hate I certainly experienced most of the latter.
Frank Auerbach at Tate Britain: