Artist Profile: Frank Auerbach

1 October 2020

Seated Nude, Arms Raised (1954) and Back of Kneeling Woman (1954) feature in the Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition The Printed Line which is at Worcester Art Gallery, until 14 November before continuing its UK tour.


These two small drypoints were made while Frank Auerbach was still a student at the Royal College of Art in London. To make them he set a nail into a pen-holder and scratched into pieces of zinc alloy. They were then printed by laying the plate under a sheet of dampened paper and rubbing the back with a spoon.

As Craig Hartley has written, 'For Auerbach, the process of redrawing a subject is always one of rethinking and reformulation, and in this case the move from one medium to another, from charcoal drawing to drypoint print, involved shifting the modulations of shading and volume. But something of the richness of the charcoal line is retained by the soft burr of ink trapped by the rough edges of the scratched line.'


The Arts Council Collection owns a number of paintings and drawings by Auerbach from over several decades.  Find out more here.



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.