Contextual focus point: Frank Auerbach’s portraiture
Frank Auerbach is a German/British artist born in 1931. Auerbach was brought to England when he was 7 years old during WWII. His parents stayed back and died in a Jewish concentration camp . Auerbach is known by his thick impasto brushstrokes technique in landscapes and his portraits. His style is considered to be Neo-impressionist. He has developed a deep and strong relationship with his art, in a way, how it happens with people. This is one of the reasons that he takes time in each work he completes. He gets to know his subject. He works with regular sitters who have posed for him for decades, one of them, Ms. Auerbach, his wife. His paintings consists in many layers of thick paint, becoming almost a piece between painting and sculpture. Like many post WWII artists, Auerbach has made a sharp distinction between figurative and abstract. He captures the essence of people in his portraits with concepts such as mutability and impermance. Auerbach records the chaos within the psychological state either in him, the sitter, or both. He tends to paint, scrape and paint over, again and again similarly, in the way we are and how we are constantly subjected to changes, biologically, mentally and emotionally. His portraits has traces of feelings that affected everyone during WWII, a feature in many post war artists. It is heavy, dense and affectionate. The difference in his work between photographs and life paintings is the ability he has to capture the subject, his perception and reading of the environment or the person who poses for him. It would not be possible to have the same energy and view if it was a photograph, a 2D still image. He has his sitter and him there , in different sessions, feeling differently, in a different time, over long periods of time . These factors are essential to the production and result of his work.
” If you pass something everyday and it has a little character, it begins to intrigue you” Frank Auerbach
Researches suggested on report Assignment 4
The Boyle family – piano nobile at : https://www.piano-nobile.com/artists/1171-boyle-family/biography/
The Boyle family (2010) [user genereated content online]Creat. TATE shots 15 sep 2010 at:
Mark Boyle was an artist born in Glasgow, Scotland. He married Joan Hills and after they had their own children, they named the project Boyle family that describes collaborated work with family and their community. The project first called ‘Planet earth” start in 1968. They use earth material and their environment to show interaction, exploration and investigating the meaning of them. From Hills, rocks and sea. They show in a poetic way taking elemental studies to be observed, felt and understood through various mediums. It a journey to questions our environment and our function in it. How the world changes and how we change this world. I think The Boyle family forces us to look into details and places that we don’t hardly notice by isolating this pieces out of its environment. It shows beauty, roughness, weight or lightness and the feel, necessity or purpose of them within us. At the same time how nature acts upon us.
McKever, Rosalind(2018) ‘The enigmatic igloos of Mario Merz’, Apollo Magazine, 7 nov 2108 at: https://www.apollo-magazine.com/the-enigmatic-igloos-of-mario-merz/
Mario Merz was an Italian artist associated with art paver ( literally meaning poor art). He was imprisioned in World War II when he start drawing. Merz began to develop deep interest in architecture and in 1968 he started his igloos’s project going through the 80′ and he kept doing till his death in 2003. The igloos are made with a combination of man made structure and natural materials. From stones from Brazil to twigs, rock, glass, they vary in materials from all over the world. Very interesting the exhibition on Tate’s in 1985, entitled: Do we go around houses or do houses go around us? Food for thought. Merz main motif for his art is a mixture of political, economical and environment context. It can be seeing as perceived by the viewer. It might mean, refugees shelter for some, security and protection for others, poverty, defense, the need to protect the environment due to the natural materials he uses, protest, use of space and individuality.
Friedlaender, Linda . Reynold-Kaye,Jennifer and Skipton, Long (2018) John Goto’s ‘ High Summer’, Yale center for British art, 6 April 2018 at: https://britishart.yale.edu/exhibitions/art-focus-john-gotos-high-summe
John Goto is a British born photographer who has an interesting way of blending figures in photographes of sites in the past and people of the present in a satirical and surrealist manner. His photographes are a travel on time, questioning places, our actions, how we fit or not in our society and world.
Project 4 – Time and the viewer
Aim: Make a drawing which forces the viewer to use time differently. This may mean a drawing which takes time to make sense of or a drawing that creates a feeling of certain pace. The drawing may need an investment of time by the viewer in some way. A drawing is a record of the time you spent making it, but the viewer also spends time looking at it. perhaps seeking meaning, enjoying its beauty or marvelling at the artist’s skill.
Reflection: The viewers I had (mostly viewed this over the phone due to lockdown), but I had my children and a friend looking at it. Most comments were that it was like telling a story, a narrative about myself. Many admired the details and patience in cutting each cup individually and the variety of patterns and subjects in them. I have chosen a cup of tea as a start of a conversation. In many places around the world people start a conversation over a cup of tea, or coffee. The cup of tea simbolizes taking the time to listen, to talk, to look at things together.A cup of tea is always an invitation to relax, enjoy reflection time alone or with friends. It is comforting, joyful, meaningful. It is a ritual done alone or in a group in many cultures around the world. The cup itself is also relevant to some people. Some like in a mug, or a pretty cup, or a pottery special made tea cup like in Japan. The cup can be special for many reasons: a gift from someone, the imprint in it, the material made of, the brand, the size… My narrative is about myself and my path through life and art. From markers, to watercolour, chinese ink, pencil, charcoal, soft pastel, oil crayon, acrylics, origami paper, writings, photos of my loved ones, places that matter to me, where I come from, textures, artists that I admire mostly and patterns…. They might be too busy, too much to read. If I had to do it again I would have done different selections of objects such as tea pots, tea cups, mugs, cups, and each selection would approach a different narrative: subconscious expression, people, feelings, concepts of art etc. This piece of work is just who I am. Many things wonders in my mind at the same time, all the time. There are many things I like, many things I talk about when with friends.