Painter Frank Auerbach was born to Jewish parents in Berlin, Germany on 29 April 1931 and, following the rise of Nazism, was sent to England in 1939; his parents, who remained behind, subsequently perished in concentration camps. Auerbach spent his childhood at Bunce Court, a progressive boarding school in Kent for Jewish refugee children. He attended St Martin’s School of Art (1948–52) and studied at David Bomberg’s evening classes at Borough Polytechnic together with Leon Kossoff, as well as at the Royal College of Art (1952–55). In 1956, he participated in a group show at Ben Uri Gallery, and in the same year was given his first solo exhibition by dealer Helen Lessore at the Beaux-Arts Gallery, where he exhibited regularly until 1963. Since 1965, he has been represented by the Marlborough Galleries in London. In 1976 he was one of a loose group of figurative painters selected by R. B. Kitaj for the exhibition 'The Human Clay', giving rise to the controversial label 'The School of London', although he has stated that he does not feel part of this or any group. He has occupied the same studio in Mornington Crescent in Camden for almost 70 years and the surrounding area is a frequent subject in his painting, executed in a characteristic vigorous impasto, for which he makes often hundreds of preliminary drawings. He focuses on a close circle of family and friends as sitters including E. O. W. (Estella Olive West), Juliet Yardley Mills, his wife Julia (née Wolstenholme) and art historian and curator Catherine Lampert. Auerbach has had retrospectives at the Hayward Gallery (1978) and Tate Britain (2015) and numerous solo exhibitions including at the British Pavilion in the 1986 Venice Biennale and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (1989). Frank Auerbach lives and works in London.



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