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Frank Auerbach: Speaking and Painting Hardcover – 1 May 2015
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In the course of a career covering more than sixty years, Auerbach has established a still growing international reputation for his paintings with their vigorous, precise brushwork. He is also respected as one of modern and contemporary art's clearest thinkers.
Catherine Lampert has had unique access to the artist since 1978, when she first became one of his sitters. With an emphasis on Auerbach 'speaking', drawn from her conversations with him and from published and archival interviews, she gives a rare insight into his professional life, working methods and philosophy.
Auerbach also reflects on the places, people and experiences that have shaped his life. These include arriving in Britain as a nearly-8-year-old refugee from Nazi Germany in 1939, finding his way in the London art world of the 1950s and 1960s, his friendships with Leon Kossoff, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, among others, and his approaches to painting.
The text is complemented by illustrations of Auerbach's paintings and drawings as well as by images from the studio and personal photographs that have never been published before.
'A gripping, sensitive portrait, close to biography but brighter and livelier than straightforward narrative in conveying the rhythms of Auerbach’s paintings, life and thought' - Financial Times (Art Books of the Year)
'Reading this book subtly raises one’s awareness of his imagery, sharpening one’s excitement at the prospect of seeing the whole trajectory of his art' - Literary Review
'A necessity for all Auerbach’s admirers, for it contains much fresh and vivid detail about his life and work' - Art Quarterly
'A rare chance to listen to the lovely and self-deprecating wisdom of painter Frank Auerbach' - AnOther
'One of the truest books on painters and paintings I have ever read' - Daily Telegraph
'Lampert has turned her long experience of the artist to good purpose: this is an enjoyable and informative book' - Art Newspaper
'A hugely enjoyable portrait of one of our leading figurative painters' - Spectator
'A fascinating and thorough portrait of a major and internationally renowned figure as seen through his eyes' - The Artist
'Catherine Lampert describes it [the true path of the artist], often using Auerbach’s own words, with a deftness and sympathy that will make this the standard work for many years to come' - Martin Gayford, World of Interiors
'A well-illustrated, comprehensive monograph on a great artist' - Colm Tóibín, Guardian
- Publisher : Thames and Hudson Ltd (1 May 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0500239258
- ISBN-13 : 978-0500239254
- Dimensions : 16 x 2.79 x 23.62 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 670,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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artist Frank Auerbach and has been the subject of many of his paintings and drawings.
This experience has clearly been invaluable in completing this absorbing monograph.
Mr Auerbach will be 86 years old in April and continues to paint pretty much every day
of the year in his Camden studios. The art critic Brian Sewell was rather unkind on a
number of occasions in his comments about the work, promulgating a view that the
artist’s technique has shown little sign of development historically and that his somewhat
obsessive and repetitive approach to his subjects is an indication of creative limitations.
Although there is some truth in this notion with regard to some of the more recent paintings
(the drawings and studies, however, remain vibrant in my opinion) it is important to take
a long view with regard to his output over time. Familiarity with a relatively circumscribed
number of locations (for landscapes) and people (for portraits) has let to extraordinary
re-tellings of familiar pictorial narratives. Repetition in this instance I believe to be a strength.
The book manages to be both scholarly and interesting in equal measure. Well-illustrated and
littered with fascinating conversations with the artist, ‘Frank Auerbach : Speaking and Painting’
delivers an insightful and invaluable account of his thoughts about motivation and process.
As an admirer for almost five decades I cannot help but think that his was (is!) a life well-spent.
I should add that the book itself is beautifully produced. The weight of paper, the quality of the print and the illustrations, even the texture of the dust jacket, are of the highest quality and make the very act of reading it a pleasure.