I was impressed by the Frank Auerbach retrospective at Tate Britain - so worth a visit! His work is a celebration of paint and mark making that I found mesmerising. The show takes you through his oeuvre a decade per room so you can see how his painting style developed over the years. He paints both individuals and scenes, some of his sitters have been painted for nearly 60 years. But although the subject is repeated, each painting feels like a fresh exploration of emotion through paint.
For me, his work is all about the artist's perception and how he wants to render what he sees. It's not really about the sitter but rather capturing an expression of his emotion through the use of marks. Looking at his surfaces makes you feel how much painting is part of his being. To quote Auerbach, 'It seems to me madness to wake up in the morning and do something other than paint, considering that one may not wake up the following morning'. The energy of the lines in his work is incredible. In Head of J.Y.M. II (above) I love how the line of the neck is strong enough for the head to be held up by that one brush mark.
I felt drawn to his paintings of Camden and Mornington Crescent because I know the area so well and it somehow made me feel closer to him as a painter as I could imagine bumping into him whilst he was painting.
I thoroughly recommend a visit to the exhibition which is on at Tate Britain until 13 March 2016.