Newlands House Gallery will celebrate the renowned German-British artist Frank Auerbach with an exhibition of works spanning over 60 years of his prolific career
Opening 2nd April, Newlands House Gallery presents ‘Frank Auerbach: Unseen’ that will explore the evolution of the contemporary painter’s practice with a collection of over 65 works, including nine paintings, etchings, drawings and Drypoint prints. Presented within Newlands House Gallery’s Georgian building in the historic town of Petworth, on display will be works spanning from the 1950s to present day that portray Auerbach as a tireless creator, while reflecting on the influences and relationships that have informed his striking style. A collection of works by the artist, on loan from the Tate, will also be displayed together for the first time in 30 years.
Frank Auerbach (b.1931) is renowned for his resonant figurative works that are defined by rich texture and depth. Auerbach’s works are created by a relentless process of painting a canvas before scraping away to start again, which is a technique that he undertakes multiple times to complete works in one sitting. Frank Auerbach: Unseen will unravel the development of this unique practice with a large collection of works presented chronologically, including loans from the National Gallery, Tate, and Fitzwilliam Museum.
The exhibition will offer an intimate insight into Auerbach’s career and begins with the artist’s portraits of close friends including Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff and a large oil painting of Estelle Stella Olive West (E.O.W) – a frequent female model for the artist. Early etchings dating to the 1950s drawn by Auerbach at art school, will stand alongside later works by a matured Auerbach in the 1980s. These capture the intense experience of sitting for an artist with an indefatigable practice like Auerbach’s. Etchings of his wife, Julia, depict her reclining form, while the thickly layered paint on Head of E.O.W I (1960), is indicative of the length of time Auerbach spent overpainting this work.
The influence of Auerbach’s important relationships with the Old Masters that preceded him and a discreet collector, David Wilke, will also be examined. Wilke’s collection of commissioned paintings will be on display together for the first time in 30 years since bequeathed to the Tate in 1993. This includes Auerbach’s renowned oil paintings of Bacchus and Ariadne (1971), based on Titian’s classical work, and Rimbaud (1975-6) that depicts the 19th century French poet in the Cornaro Chapel, Rome. This work is the result of the pair’s playful relationship upheld between the art-admirer and artist. Auerbach denied Wilke’s initial request to paint Bernini’s ‘Ecstasy of St Teresa’ in the Roman chapel yet responded by transplanting Rimbaud into the setting for this later commission.
Image: ‘Head of E.O.W I’. Frank Auerbach. 1960. © The Artist. Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery, London. Image courtesy of Tate Images.Book Now