On Sunday 14th September, we looked at Auerbach’s sensational drawings of people, starting with mark-making and line and culminating with a larger tonal charcoal and colourless oil bar piece, drawn from life in front of Barrie, our model.
Our thesis was that Auerbach is a deeply traditional painter. Constable and Ruisdael are two of his National Gallery favourites and after all he is primarily a portraitist and a landscape (Londonscape) painter.
‘What you feel when you touch somebody next to you in the dark’ Auerbach
Although he continually reverses and alters, ‘evidence accrues’ ….
‘I go out each morning and draw. I can’t really start a painting in the morning until I’ve done a drawing…. I feel dissatisfied with what I’m doing, so I go out and try to notice some fact I haven’t seen before, and once I’ve been provided with a reason for changing my picture, I can come back to the studio and change it… usually it is a new sensation of proportion or connection, often revealed by the light.’ Auerbach
‘The energy of the execution may first strike the viewer, but it is energy in pursuit of a geometry of an exact expression.’ Auerbach
Having been put through their paces, issued alternately with charcoal, eraser, brown/grey then black pro markers, and ultimately oil bars, Emma and Mandy made these intense and refreshingly unpredictable works: