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Frank Auerbach

Art, Exhibition, London, ReviewKate Marsden

Now, as many of you will know, I'm a member of Tate. I have been since Tate Modern opened (so 16 years this year - yikes that makes me feel old!). It's not the cheapest thing in the world but I've always felt that I've had really good value out of it - how I use it has changed over the years - nowadays it's contributed to the little man's love of art and visiting galleries which I'm not sure is that common for 5 year old boys - in the past I used to go to private views and then for dinner, but there you go...

Anyway, one great benefit of my membership is that I go to see exhibitions which I wouldn't have done if I'd had to buy a ticket. One such exhibition is at Tate Britain at the moment - Frank Auerbach.

Frank Auerbach (b 1931) Hampstead Road, High Summer 2010, Painting, Oil paint on board, 562 x 562 mmPrivate collection, © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

Frank Auerbach (b 1931) Hampstead Road, High Summer 2010, Painting, Oil paint on board, 562 x 562 mmPrivate collection, © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

And I quite liked it, thanks to paintings such as the one above. I've always associated Auerbach with the gloomy dark, figurative pieces (of which there were plenty to be fair), but I really likeed the colourful energy of his paintings of North London. Particularly the more recent ones where he's used a little less paint than previously (although I did find the textured earlier works interesting to look at, I'm not personally as keen on them).

Frank Auerbach (b 1931)Mornington Crescent 1965, Painting, Oil paint on board, 1016 x 1270 mmPrivate collection, © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

Frank Auerbach (b 1931)Mornington Crescent 1965, Painting, Oil paint on board, 1016 x 1270 mmPrivate collection, © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

The more colourful figurative paintings also caught my eye...

Frank Auerbach (b 1931)Head of William Feaver, 2003, Oil on board, 451 x 406 mm, Collection of Gina and Stuart Peterson, © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

Frank Auerbach (b 1931)Head of William Feaver, 2003, Oil on board, 451 x 406 mm, Collection of Gina and Stuart Peterson, © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

So, would I now be happy to pay to go and see this exhibition? Hmm. I have to admit to still not really being a fan, so I'd say no - but I'm glad I took the time to see it. If you are more of a fan of Auerbach's work you'll love it - I thought it was exceptionally well curated and the work on display did surprise me (in a good way!).

Frank Auerbach is at Tate Britain until 13 March 2016.