ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Frank Auerbach at Tate Britain

Frank Auerbach is an acquired taste: one that I have yet to sup willingly. I am not exactly fond of his thick layers of paint and the dull palette mixes of sludge and mud. And judging by how quiet this show was on a Saturday afternoon, I am not the only one.

If find the early to mid career work depressing, but he later work is vibrant, and even cheerful, now that he has dispensed with layering and is scraping off paint before reworking.

His London landscapes in different seasons are lovely. The most impressive for me were the charcoal portraits and self-portraits - very resonant.

Go, if he's your cup of expressionism, otherwise he's unlikely to grow on you by means of this show alone.

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