Frank Auerbach is known for his dynamic use of line and impasted paint. Based in Camden Town, where he has worked for over 60 years, Auerbach paints portraits and city scenes in a highly expressive manner. He returns to the same objects or sitter, attempting to capture the essence of his subjects.


Auerbach was born in Berlin in 1931, but moved to Kent in 1939 as a refugee from the Nazis. In 1947 he moved to London and began taking lessons from David Bomberg at Borough Polytechnic, which he continued alongside attending St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art. During this time Auerbach became friends with Leon Kossoff whose studio in Camden Town Auerbach took over in 1954.


Auerbach is often associated with a circle of figurative painters known as the School of London, but has said that he does not feel part of this or any group. Lucian Freud was a close friend and had the biggest private collection of Auerbach’s work; after his death in 2011, this was distributed to museums throughout the UK.


In 2015-16 the Tate held a retrospective exhibition of Auerbach’s work, featuring paintings and drawings from the 1950s up to the present. His work is held in many established public collections including Pallant House Gallery, Walker Art Gallery, Arts Council of Great Britain, British Museum, Contemporary Art Society, Courtauld Gallery, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate London, Victoria & Albert Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery and The Hepworth Wakefield.