Born in Berlin in 1931, Frank Auerbach moved to England in 1939. He studied at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute in 1947, at the Borough Polytechnic under David Bomberg from 1947 to 1948, at St. Martin’s School of Art from 1948 to 1952 and at the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. At the R.C.A he was awarded a Silver Medal and First Class Honors. Auerback also tried his hand in acting, taking various small parts in several London theaters.
He held his first solo exhibition in 1956 at the Beaux Arts Gallery where he continued to exhibit until 1963, subsequently showing at Marlborough Fine Art in London. He has exhibited internationally and in group shows since 1958 and his work is represented in numerous public collections. He taught at a number of schools including the Slade School until 1958 and he has worked at the same studio in London since 1954. His awards include the Golden Lion Award and the Venice Biennale in 1986.
Auerbach's work depicts particular subjects to which he repeatedly returns. His work is an exploration which goes beyond surface representation. In early works the surface is dense and somber, but in latter works it has become more varied with graphic, independent and vital marks. His interest in past art is reflected in his reinterpretation of works, particularly by Rembrandt and Titian.