Frank Auerbach is a key member of the so-called 'School of London' - a term which was coined by fellw painter R.B. Kitaj in 1976 to refer to the London-based group of artists who were united only in their dedication to portraying the human form in paint.
Auerbach's series of portraits of his friend J Y M began in about 1964, and she has continued to model for him regularly over the past forty years. The thickly daubed paint appears to be the accumulation of many layers of oil applied over a number of sittings. However, it is actually only one dayÕs work.
Auerbach scrapes off the paint at the end of every session, starting anew the next day. He repeatedly reworks the canvas until a final image is arrived at and the painting takes on a life of its own. This drawn out process may take several months, often requiring over a hundred sittings.