Frank Auerbach_Head of Jake_2014, Jubiläumsausstellung MUCA München

Frank Auerbach at the MUCA Collection Munich

Who is Frank Auerbach?

Frank Auerbach was born in Berlin on 29 April 1931 and is today considered one of the most important British post-war painters. Auerbach came to England as a Jewish refugee when he was less than eight years old. From 1948 to 1952 he attended St Martin's School of Art in London. He then studied at the Royal College of Art in London. It was here that he developed his distinctive, strong application of colour.

Auerbach had his first solo exhibition in 1956 at the Beaux-Arts Gallery in London. He exhibited his works here regularly until 1963. A major retrospective of Auerbach's work was held at the Hayward Gallery in London in 1978. In 1986, he designed the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, for which he was awarded the Golden Lion together with Sigmar Polke. In 1986, his art was shown in a solo exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. In 2016, Tate Britain honoured his works in a major retrospective. Auerbach lives and works in London to this day.

AUERBACH at the "25 YEARS" exhibition in Munich

The anniversary show (06.10.2022 - 10.09.2023) featured Auerbach's "Head of Jake", the portrayal of his son. 

How does Auerbach work?

Auerbach is a prolific painter who has continuously developed and enlarged his oeuvre since his first exhibition in 1956. Characteristic of Auerbach's work is the strong impasto painting. The motifs of his works are often people he knows well or the urban landscapes near his studio in London. In his portraits, he sometimes pushes abstraction to the limit.

A core member of the London School, Auerbach is today considered one of the most important figurative painters of the 20th century.