Frank Auerbach: Profile

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Jackie Wullschlager visits the studio of painter Frank Auerbach.

Wullschlager writes that Auerbach's "working pattern has been unchanged for decades. He rises with the dawn, goes out to draw, returns to the studio “where I will have a painting on the go. Instead of staring at this painting and making aesthetic decisions, I look at the drawing, which is like a note. Then I repaint, scrape, repaint the painting, it never takes less than months, sometimes years. Then there’s a point, a coup de foudre, like an explosion, when something rather radical happens, something I hadn’t foreseen, and it is finished. But there can be false finishes. And not everything will work. I go to considerable lengths to destroy what I don’t like. If I hadn’t edited as much as I have, I would be deeply depressed. Matisse said, ‘My only enemies are my bad pictures.’ "

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