Frank Auerbach: Frank & Julia
October 27 – December 22, 2023
Press Release: Luhring Augustine is delighted to announce Frank & Julia, the gallery’s second exhibition with the esteemed British painter, Frank Auerbach. This presentation focuses on Auerbach’s portraits of his wife, Julia, alongside self-portraits, and follows his widely lauded 2020 survey show in our Chelsea gallery. Frank & Julia will be on view in our Tribeca location from October 27 to December 22, and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Celebrated for his distinctive painterly lexicon, which is characterized by passionate brushwork and tactile impasto, in this exhibition Auerbach delivers evocative compositions imbued with soul and presence. The paintings and works on paper on view in Frank & Julia offer a singular vantage point from which to explore Auerbach’s creative spirit, inviting contemplation into his motivations and artistic methodologies. From the time of their university days when they met at the Royal College of Art in London in the 1950s, Julia was one of the artist’s first sitters. Conversely, only sporadic self-portraits exist from Auerbach’s early career, and it is within the last few years that he has consistently engaged with his own visage as a recurring motif. Notably, all the works featured in this exhibition come from the past decade, with the earliest portrait of Julia made in 2012, and all of the self-portraits finished within the last year.
This harmonious and incisive body of work intricately weaves the personal and the artistic, the self and the familial, the artist and his subject. Viewed through this unique prism, each composition’s formal choices radiate with fresh resonance. For Auerbach, painting remains a lens through which he observes and interprets the world, a means to assimilate and encapsulate his surroundings before distilling them into a composition. The works in Frank & Julia go beyond documenting the artist’s personal relationship with his wife, transcending sentimentality, and instead, offer an extraordinary perspective into the genesis of image-making and aesthetic prowess that has been the hallmark of Auerbach’s distinguished career spanning seven decades.
About the artist
Born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, Frank Auerbach has been living in England since 1939. Auerbach studied painting at Borough Polytechnic, and received degrees from St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art. In 1986 the artist represented Great Britain at the XLII Venice Biennale, for which he, along with Sigmar Polke, was awarded the Golden Lion Prize. He has been the subject of solo shows at The Hayward Gallery, London; Kunstverein, Hamburg; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; The National Gallery, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London; and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. In 2015 a major retrospective exhibition of Auerbach’s work was presented at Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany and Tate Britain, London. His works are included in prestigious collections worldwide including the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; British Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery, London; National Portrait Gallery, London; and Tate, London. A forthcoming exhibition of large-scale drawings by Auerbach will be presented together for the first time at The Courtauld Gallery, London in Spring 2024.