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Head of E.O.W

Frank Helmuth Auerbach (b. 1931)

1960

D.1960.19

Title Head of E.O.W
Object type Drawing
Date 1960
Artist/maker Frank Helmuth Auerbach (b. 1931)
Support Paper (Handmade)
Medium Charcoal
Dimensions h:786 w:580 mm
Accession Lot Friends of the Whitworth (gift, 1960)
Accession number D.1960.19

Previous Exhibition: Object Label: D.1960.19

Never has Frank Auerbach's painstaking, almost obsessive approach to his work been better illustrated than in the remarkable series of drawings and paintings that he made of a female friend (whom he referred to simply as E.O.W.) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This particular drawing took approximately fifty two-hours sessions.


The writer, Robert Hughes, memorably described a visit to Auerbach's studio to watch him at work.


"(He) has a sheet of paper, or rather two sheets glued together, ready on the easel. The paper is a stout rag, almost as thick as elephant hide, resistant to the incessant rubbing-out that will go on for days and weeks. As he scribbled and saws at the paper, the sticks of willow charcoal snap; they make cracking sounds like a tooth breaking on a bone. When he scrubs the paper with a rag clouds of black dust fly. An hour into the session the sitter blows his nose and finds that his snot is black. The studio is like a colliery..."


 

Previous Exhibition: Object Label: D.1960.19

Never has Frank Auerbach's painstaking, almost obsessive approach to his work been better illustrated than in the remarkable series of drawings and paintings that he made of a female friend (whom he referred to simply as E.O.W.) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This particular drawing took approximately fifty two-hours sessions.


The writer, Robert Hughes, memorably described a visit to Auerbach's studio to watch him at work.


"(He) has a sheet of paper, or rather two sheets glued together, ready on the easel. The paper is a stout rag, almost as thick as elephant hide, resistant to the incessant rubbing-out that will go on for days and weeks. As he scribbled and saws at the paper, the sticks of willow charcoal snap; they make cracking sounds like a tooth breaking on a bone. When he scrubs the paper with a rag clouds of black dust fly. An hour into the session the sitter blows his nose and finds that his snot is black. The studio is like a colliery..."


 

Collection Exhibitions : On Friendship : Object Label : D.1960.19

Auerbach spent more than a hundred hours looking at his long-time sitter and friend "E. O. W." whilst he made this drawing. This concentrated looking is typical of the way in which Auerbach works. He has a small group of people and a tightly defined area of London around his studio that he strives to represent in painting and drawing.