The Easel

9th May 2023

Auerbach, grand master of paint, as hot-wired as a live grenade at 92

Gushing admiration. Portraiture features prominently in Auerbach’s career, including his near obsession with painting just a handful of sitters. Only now, at 91 has the “Grand Old Master of British Art“ produced a series of self-portraits. These works are a “hard, uncompromising quest to take stock of human decline” with paint strokes that “almost disguise the likeness while exposing the interior of the mind. One of the most astonishing exhibitions of self-portraiture ever seen in London”.

2nd May 2023

The poor relation of the art world

One view is that the art we value expresses the temper of our times. Alternatively, what is deemed ‘good’ art can be manipulated by governments or curatorial fashion. These latter factors explain why figurative art – notably landscapes – are being “driven out” of museums, especially in Britain. Villains like Stalin, Hitler and the CIA get named. All fine, except that abstraction was creeping into art even before 1900. Tranquil landscapes perhaps don’t resonate with modern viewers like they once did.