Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads • Art de Vivre
Feb 09, 2024 - May 27, 2024

Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads


Immerse yourself in the evocative realm of Frank Auerbach (born 1931) as The Courtauld Gallery unveils a captivating exhibition in Spring 2024. Auerbach's hauntingly beautiful large-scale charcoal portraits, a testament to his early years in post-war London, take center stage for the first time in this exclusive showcase.

During this pivotal period, Auerbach dedicated months to the creation of each portrait head, engaging in an intricate process of constant refinement during numerous sessions with his subjects. The resulting drawings, marked by their rich texture and layered complexity, bear witness to the artist's prolonged and vigorous creative journey. Auerbach's unique technique sometimes led him to break through the paper, only to meticulously patch it up before continuing. The charcoal heads emerge from the darkness, vital and alive, having endured a lengthy struggle - images repeatedly created and destroyed.

These drawings, created in the 1950s and early 1960s, reflect the times when individuals were reconstructing their lives in the aftermath of war's devastation. "Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads" marks the first comprehensive gathering of these extraordinary post-war drawings, providing a unique opportunity to witness Auerbach's early masterpieces. The exhibition goes beyond the charcoal heads, offering a curated selection of paintings depicting the same sitters. For Auerbach, painting and drawing have always been deeply entwined, and this exhibition beautifully highlights the interconnectedness of these mediums.

Supported by the Huo Family Foundation and The Garcia Family Foundation, the exhibition not only showcases the artistic prowess of one of the world's most celebrated living artists but also invites you to explore the transformative spirit of an era through the lens of Auerbach's compelling works. Don't miss this rare opportunity to delve into the vivid and profound expressions of Frank Auerbach's artistic journey. 


Photo Credits: Frank Auerbach (b.1931), Self-Portrait, 1958. © The artist, courtesy of Frankie Rossi Art Projects, London

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