Frank Auerbach: The London Building Sites 1952–62
Artist(s): Frank Auerbach
Author(s): Edited by Barnaby Wright
Year published: 2009
Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 128
Illustrations: 60 colour illustrations
Out of stock
This catalogue will accompany the first exhibition to bring together the seminal group of paintings of London building sites by Frank Auerbach (born 1931). Produced between 1952 and 1962, the paintings are among the most profound responses made by any artist to the post-war urban landscape. These works chart the early development of Auerbach’s remarkable approach to painting, for which he is celebrated as one of Britain’s greatest living artists.
Fascinated by the post-war rebuilding of London, Auerbach combed the city’s numerous building sites with his sketchbook in hand, often with his friend Leon Kossoff. He visited the major sites, including St Paul’s, Oxford Street, Leicester Square and the Shell Building on the South Bank. Auerbach vividly translates the chasms of mud and shored-up earth, scaffolding and catwalks of the building sites into works which capture a powerful sense of the destruction and reconstruction inherent in the redevelopment of London’s bomb sites.
The catalogue will present the majority of the building site paintings, drawing on public and private collections nationally and internationally. Many of these have rarely been seen before. Also reproduced will be a selection of Auerbach’s few surviving pencil sketches (most of which he destroyed) together with oil studies to reveal the artist’s complex creative process. The book will offer the first comprehensive account of this extraordinary group of paintings, which are among the most important contributions to post-war painting in Britain.
Accompanies an exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, London 16 October 2009 – 17 January 2010