Looking towards Mornington Crescent Station, Night

Frank AUERBACH: artist

Not On Display

About the work

Work and life are virtually inseparable to Frank Auerbach. `My first consideration on getting up in the morning every day of my life has always been about painting'. (1978) Of crucial importance are the places which suffuse his everyday activities, particularly those in close proximity to the studio, that offer the opportunity for continual scrutiny and deep familiarity. This painting was initially inspired by a chimney he had never properly noticed before.

The construction of Auerbach's paintings start from quick sketches made on the spot which are then taken back to the studio and developed into fully worked paintings. Looking towards Mornington Crescent Station, Night belongs to a small series of 16 paintings executed between 1966 and 1973 at this particular junction in Camden Town, an area of London he has called home for over fifty years. Looking towards Mornington Crescent Station, Night captures the intensity of living in London: 'This extraordinary, marvellously unpainted city where wherever somebody tries to get something going, they stop halfway through, and next to it something incongruous occurs ... this higgledy-piggledy mess of a city.'' (1986) The effect of this energy is transcribed in the painting in luminous colour with dexterity and a brevity of hand somewhat at odds with the very physical nature of both the scene itself and the material mass of the finished painting. Like Monet or Turner before him, Auerbach creates the sensation of the pervasive presence of light and through what can only be described as excessive piling on of paint the effect of images recovered and conceived in the most particular light, light that glows, light that gleams from a keenly wrought surface of paint handled with an expert eye and unerring draughtsmanship.

The State Art Collection holds the complete suite of Auerbach's sixteen preliminary drawings for Looking towards Mornington Crescent Station. GD 2009
Looking towards Mornington Crescent Station, Night
Artist/Maker and role
Frank AUERBACH: artist
oil on hardboard
127.0 x 126.5 cm (sight)
129.0 x 129.0 cm (framed)
Credit line
Purchased 1974
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.