In his portraits, Auerbach is more interested in capturing personality, emotion, and form than representing the person’s likeness. This is a portrait of his cousin Gerda, presented as a series of shared experiences between the artist and sitter. By scraping and building up the canvas surface with thick paint he creates abstracted figures. As he said about painting portraits, “Nothing can be left out…you have to bury the irrelevant in the painting somehow,” evident in the painting’s overwhelming sculptural thickness. Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1982.38
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