David Landau, 2007, etching on paper, 40.5 x 30cm.
Frank Auerbach has more or less been painting or drawing everyday of his adult life. Even when he’s not, he’s probably reading about it.
His ability to study the same faces and landscapes day in day out and yet de-familiarise every one of them astounds me. Never does one drawing appear the same as the last. I believe most artists feel a compulsion to respond creatively, but Auerbach takes this to a new level, almost an instinctive animal need.
There appears to be an almost equal level of objectivity and subjectivity to his work. Forming fairly distant relationships with a sitter but never truly communicating with them. In that sense Auerbach will have some attachment to them, but reserved enough to scrutinise them daily. I would imagine Auerbach is attached to most of his sitters in the way we are to our mobile phones. Yes we obsess over them, but if we loose it we would simply acquire another.
He leaves an echo of considered marks laden with meaning. It’s as though his eyes can slow time freeing him to become totally immersed in his drawing. His work becomes a meditation on the world before him, A way of making sense of the, pardon my french but ‘fucked up mess’ we live in. Drawing forms a major part of Auerbach’s daily routine, he lives in a cycle of of react and record. In that sense the message Auerbach gives in this work and most others is that of observation. His eyes are forever switched on.
…Then again he is so illusive, I could be completely wrong!
I’m sorry this is late!!!