Auerbach painted his first view of north London in 1954 and this particular area of the capital would go on to occupy a central position in his oeuvre. After turning his attention to the chaotic hustle and bustle of Morning Crescent station in 1968 it remains to this day his most frequently occurring landscape subject. The spontaneity implied in his quick, thick brushstrokes belies the strong sense of structure and pattern which underpins all of his painting. Auerbach’s London is in a constant state of flux, providing the artist with a complex and ever-changing system of signs. Auerbach draws every morning, often creating hundreds of drawings in his pursuit of a subject and using these to ‘…suggest how the whole painting could be organized.’
Auerbach is one of the most important post-war painters, not just because of his legacy, but because of the huge contribution he made in the form of artistic innovation. The deliberate restrictions he practiced forced him to be creative even with the smallest of things. The talent created a painter, and the passionate restriction created an artist. Frank Auerbach declined knighthood in 2003 and currently is one of the most internationally collected living artists. After a focused retrospective exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in December 1978 he was chosen to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale where he won the Golden Lion for his collection. In November of 2001, BBC 2 broadcasted Frank Auerbach: To the Studio, a film by Hannah Rothschild. He was the subject of a large retrospective at the Tate Galleries in 2015-2016 and his work has sold at auction for over $4 million.