Mary McCartney on Frank Auerbach

Artist Frank Auerbach has made some of the most vibrant, alive and inventive paintings of recent times. His depictions of people and the urban landscapes near his London studio show him to be one of the greatest painters alive today. Here, photographer and Auerbach fan Mary McCartney describes her love of the artist’s work.

For half a century the artist has lived and worked in the same part of London, in Camden Town, one of the major subjects of his work. Painting 365 days a year, he has continued discarding what he does, scraping back the surface of the canvas to start and re-start the painting process daily, continuing afresh for months or years until the single painting is realised in a matter of hours, having finally surprised him, seeming true and robust.

Tate Britain’s exhibition, featuring paintings and drawings from the 1950s to the present day, offers fascinating new insights into his work, with the artist suggesting the selection of the first six galleries.

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