Making It: Young Artists Today

This article was first published online by Apollo Magazine on 7 Jul 2015

Becoming a successful artist is very much like a lottery in which you work for years just to get a ticket. Those who reach the rarefied art world of echoing galleries and champagne receptions typically arrive there after long periods of insecurity and brutal soul-searching (and as a result, often don’t enjoy it). The intermediate world of aspiring artists is crowded, chaotic, and generally ignored, since it’s much easier to take art seriously once somebody else has validated it. Yet in many ways it is more interesting than the art world itself.

The first question that occupies artists is what art to make. This seems basic, but many artists struggle with it perpetually. The sheer scope of media available today, plus the knowledge that there is a potential audience for pretty much anything, is as terrifying as it is liberating.

This is a problem I’ve been discussing for a while with artist Rob Miles. He has chosen to shelve his interest in computer-generated imagery, claiming that, compared to other artists in this medium, he is ‘like a child playing in the mud’. Instead, he has chosen to concentrate intensively on printmaking, and to explore the possibilities opened up by this singular focus.

Rob Miles, 'Even we, sometimes, make mistakes (II)' (2015), stone lithograph
Rob Miles, Even we, sometimes, make mistakes (II) (2015), stone lithograph

‘You need to narrow it down to what is essential about your work’, he says. ‘For me it was drawing, and then print was the most interesting way to do that.’ He wants to master his medium to discover new ways of using it. The layering process of lithography has given him a way to interpret the overlapping visual systems of modern life, drawing inspiration from digital space and the interaction of reality with media and technology.

Another young artist, Joe Pearson, makes for an interesting comparison here. When Pearson began at the Slade, he says, ‘I had already boxed myself in as a painter.’ Eventually though, his search for affecting imagery led him to experiment with stop frame animation and digital collage. The resulting video projections, which were my pick of this year’s degree shows, combine the mythical figuration of William Blake with the paranoid intensity of cartoons such as Dragon Ball Z. What is essential about Pearson’s work is his idiosyncratic vision, and this has been brought to life by the discovery of a new medium.

But whether you are honing a craft or experimenting, the underlying factor for all artists is time and resources. A universal concern for art graduates is how they will pay for a studio and materials, not to mention bills, and what time will be left for actually making art.

Hannah Rowan, 'Wipe/swipe' (2014), oil on lighting diffusion paper, wood, gaffer tape.
Hannah Rowan, Wipe/swipe (2014), oil on lighting diffusion paper, wood, gaffer tape

Yet such challenges also bring new opportunities for inspiration. For Hannah Rowan, long periods away from the studio working as a set-builder for commercial film have been transformative. ‘My work is still going on in my head’, she says, ‘so often I’d see lighting equipment rigged-up on set, see it as a kind of free-standing structure, and I’d find it really beautiful.’ She has recently made a fascinating series of works that use the detritus of the film industry as a framework for her gestural abstract painting.

The painting itself is done on lighting diffusion paper – a material used to soften lighting for film – which renders the brush-strokes in a uniquely sensitive way. This is attached to a makeshift support using cable-ties, croc-clips, gaffer tape or clamps, and is finally lit with security lighting. All of these techniques came originally from the need for her work to be collapsible and storable in limited studio space (which canvases are not), but she now values their temporary character.

Alison Bignon, 'Silent', from series 'Loose Notes of Sorrow' (2015), rotting ink, print, watercolour
Alison Bignon, ‘Silent’, from series ‘Loose Notes of Sorrow’ (2015), rotting ink, print, watercolour

Young artists are not altogether alone. There are people and organisations dedicated to nurturing talent. One such individual I’ve met recently is gallerist and art dealer Marine Tanguy, an energetic fairy godmother figure who is currently helping seven young artists in their ‘battle of 10 years’ to become established. She aims to get them into respected collections, link them with other institutions and with the global market, find affordable studios and publish coverage of their work.

Tanguy is looking for ‘very strong aesthetics and very strong layers of techniques’, and likes artists ‘who master their techniques for years’. Among these are Scarlett Bowman and Alison Bignon, who have pioneered new ways of working with jesmonite casts and ink drawings respectively. The search for these sorts of innovations seems to be one thing that unites aspiring artists generally. They recognise a world that demands novelty, but do not want to sacrifice integrity in the process. A difficult balance for them, but one that bodes very well for the audience.

Scarlett Bowman, 'P5', from series 'Trashscapes' (2015), composite, jesmonite and acrylic
Scarlett Bowman, P5, from series Trashscapes (2015), composite, jesmonite and acrylic

 

 

Larry Bell: Light Knots

This article was first published online by Wallpaper* Magazine on 13 Jul 2015

Larry Bell has been exploring the aesthetics of light and surface for over five decades. In that time, the New Mexico-based artist, who is now 75, has produced a masterful body work comprising sculpture, installations and collages that harness light with serene and haunting effect. A new exhibition, ‘2D-3D: Glass & Vapor’ at White Cube Mason’s Yard, shows several stages of this oeuvre as well as new works.

The distinctive shimmering texture of Bell’s work stems from his discovery in the 1960s of a process called ‘thin film deposition’, whereby surfaces are coated with metal alloys in a vacuum chamber. This method alters the way light is reflected or allowed to pass through sheets of glass or plastic, creating illusions of depth and colourful mists that expand into the gallery space.

Larry Bell: NVD#24 (left) and NVD#28 (right), both 2004, (Black Arches Paper coated with aluminum and silicon monoxide, 57 x 41 in.). Photography by White Cube (George Darrel)
Larry Bell: NVD#23 (left) and NVD#28 (right), 2004, (Black Arches Paper coated with aluminum and silicon monoxide, 57 x 41 in). Photography by White Cube (George Darrel)

Bell places experimentation and discovery at the center of his practice. ‘Control’, he says, ‘is a state of mind, not a physical reality. To me everything is experimental in the studio and that is how the work grows.’ Bell is drawn to the medium of light by its spontaneity, observing that ‘light is free… in one way or another it is like time, it is everywhere at once’.

At the White Cube show, one can see the evolution of Bell’s work from minimalist structures into arrangements of six-foot glass panels, whose exchanges of light occupy an entire room. There are also dazzling two-dimensional Vapor Drawings, as well as his new Light Knot sculptures – curving ribbons of polyester film, suspended like figures frozen mid-dance.

With many younger artists interested in the possibilities of light, Bell’s work currently seems more relevant than ever. He is inspired by Sasha Vom Dorp and Marc Fichou, artists who have, he says, ‘taken a serious step into the unknown, and brought out a sample of the unknown for me to see’.

The Roots of Navajo Nation

This article was first published online by Vice with Camille Summers-Valli’s photographs on 9 Sep 2015

Big Mountain is a time-soaked corner of the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona, a high-desert plateau where the Hopi and Navajo tribes have lived for centuries—but the natives are being forced out by the US government in an eviction process which began 50 years ago and continues to this day. Also called Black Mesa, the plateau follows the outline of a prehistoric lake, and over the long millennia the life supported by the water decayed to form the largest coal deposit in the US.

The extraction of this coal began in the late 1960s after extensive legal wrangling by utilities such as Peabody Coal and WEST (Western Energy Supply and Transmission) to bypass the resistance of the Navajo and Hopi indigenous peoples, a process brilliantly detailed by writer Judith Nies in 2000A key figure in negotiations was lawyer John Boyden, who organized a Hopi tribal council that then hired him—he went on to simultaneously work as counsel for the Hopi and Peabody Coal. The councils of the two tribes—which did not necessary represent the majority of the natives—signed the first strip-mining leases in 1966, agreeing to royalties of 30 cents per ton of coal, a grotesquely substandard rate. Soon, a coal slurry pipeline and two generating stations were built by Bechtel, the engineering giant famous for projects such as the Hoover Dam.

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Before large-scale mining could begin though, vast areas of designated reservation land—shared between the Navajo and Hopi—had to be cleared. Boyden achieved this by claiming loudly in the press that the tribes were engaged in a war over grazing rights, leading eventually to the partition of the shared land in the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act of 1974. The result of this bill was the state-enforced eviction of thousands of indigenous people from the area, mostly Navajo caught on the wrong side of the new division.

Today only a small group of mostly older Navajo continue to live permanently or semipermanently on Big Mountain, herding sheep and maintaining what elements they can of their traditional existence. Despite small victories, such as a 1996 federal court ruling against Peabody for violating the tribe’s human and environmental rights, the Navajo have been forced to spend the last four decades living as resistors against regular eviction attempts. This year has seen another escalation in livestock impoundments and confiscations, a tactic employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Hopi authorities to enforce the eviction order by making life unsustainable for the Navajo.

The mining activity has done serious damage to the Navajo and their culture, from the poisoning of the tribe’s groundwater to the bulldozing of its ancient burial grounds. Peabody Energy, now the world’s biggest private-sector coal company, continues to extract resources from the Big Mountain area. Water is pumped by Big Mountain coal via the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, into cities, orchards, and cotton fields across the Southwest. The ground, a life force at the center of the Navajo spiritual universe, is now the energy source for the desert oases of Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

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Last September, the Obama administration agreed to a $554 million settlement with the Navajo to end a lawsuit alleging that the federal government mismanaged the tribe’s resources, but the people of Big Mountain are still going through hard times. In the last year, four of the remaining elders have died.

And yet, in her photographs from Big Mountain, Camille Summers-Valli captures something affirming, something enduring and vital, that still exists in this community. She documents the younger generations who were born in or relocated to the sprawling settlements of Navajo Nation—such as New Lands in eastern-central Arizona—as they return to Big Mountain to reconnect with their spiritual inheritance. They go, whenever they have the time and the means, to ride horses, help their grandparents raise livestock, and participate in the daily ceremonies and prayers that tie the culture to the land.

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Lou Reed: Obituary

This article was first published online by Prospect Magazine on 29 Oct 2013

Brian Eno’s famous statement about the poor sales of the first Velvet Underground record, “I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band,” is so often repeated it has almost become an adage. I probably said it after starting my first band. Such is the fate of music that seems somehow ahead of its time, and especially when it was unpopular in its own time. Was the band’s singer, the brilliant Lou Reed who died on Sunday, pleased with this image? Even for the most subversive artist, to be recognised as influential is a great accolade.

It’s less clear, though, how the prickly Reed would have felt about his band’s complete assimilation by popular culture, signified by a rash of t-shirts, posters and reissued LPs. There is a sense of inevitability about this, too. As others such as The Ramones could attest, the clumsy wheel of popular culture seeks out that which is daring, obscure, and already finished, for promotion. Someone like Lou Reed was perfect fodder for this recycling process. He leaves behind a trail of black-and-white images from New York rooftops, a face obscured by decades’ worth of sunglasses and make-up, and a solo career that fluctuated between the accessible and the bizarre.

Most importantly, The Velvet Underground’s music invites listeners to think that they have made a unique discovery. Who are the true believers? Does it matter? These questions only prove that we like the idea of something undiscovered, even when it is everywhere. It would be unfair, though, to imply that our connection to a band is undermined because it has been through the pop-culture mill. This doesn’t do justice to the music or to the fans, whether they really “get it” or not. The Velvet Underground made a lasting impact which most bands with a similar cult following never achieve.

MC Kostek's iconic band shot of the Velvet Underground with Nico in the late 60s
MC Kostek’s iconic band shot of the Velvet Underground with Nico in the late 60s

This legacy is, of course, down to more than just Lou Reed. Moe Tucker’s primitive, convulsing drumbeats opened the door to rhythms that didn’t swing like rock ‘n’ roll, or even bother to vary themselves–they were too busy anchoring John Cale’s revolutionary textures on the electric viola, which he described as the “Wagnerian side of rock and roll.” Screeching, rumbling, and growling combined in the first two albums with monotonous song structures and a readiness to embrace imperfection: at one stage during the crescendo of Heroin, you hear Reed laugh as Tucker drops her drum sticks.

If this was the shuddering body of The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed was the cruel speaking mask. His lyrics, described by Richard Goldstein as “a secret marriage between Bob Dylan and the Marquis de Sade,” were composed of the noxious by-products of the New York dream factory: drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes and transvestites. He was fixated with “everyday reality as we knew it then… not just a disposable subject,” in stark contrast to the cosmetic veneer of rock and roll in the mid-sixties. A tendency that would stay with him throughout his solo career was to document the details of this underworld reality, its distinct language and routines. This was present in the earliest Velvet Underground songs: “He’s never early, he’s always late/ First thing you learn is that you always gotta wait.”

Reed was not the first to sing from the margins of society. Whereas folk and blues presented an emotive response to such subject matter–horny, funny or elegiac–Reed defined his songs as having “no moral stance.” Unflinchingly deadpan and objective even in satire, they are as uncaring as the city itself towards those who inhabit its gutters. This sardonic approach to New York lowlife would become a well-beaten path for baritones from Iggy Pop to Nick Cave, but the only comparable source from the sixties is Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues. Unlike the dandyish Dylan, though, Reed sings like someone who has surrendered himself to the street (“Hey white boy, what you doing up town?”).

Artwork from The Velvet Underground's self-titled first album, credited to "Hugo" and Paul Morrissey
Artwork from The Velvet Underground’s self-titled first album, credited to “Hugo” and Paul Morrissey

It was not always this way. Reed had a middle-class, conservative upbringing in Long Island, and as a teenager joined the mainstream of rock and roll. The dive into squalor and ignominy that accompanied his maturing as a songwriter was itself an important precedent for his own and later generations. It’s no coincidence that the song that grabbed John Cale’s attention—leading to the formation of the band—was Heroin, which contains the lines, “I have made a big decision… to nullify my life.” This has been dismissed as self-absorbed negativity, but it seems to me to be about the wish to find a new space away from the conventional American story, whose distrust of deviants had already seen Reed undergo electric shock therapy at the behest of his parents.

All this is very easily romanticised, and it’s important to remember the beginnings of The Velvet Underground, and therefore of Reed, in an early version of the hype band. Far from being stoically unpopular, the band got its first major stage from the master of pop, Andy Warhol, who paired them with German supermodel Nico and put them in front of hipsters, socialites and art collectors. The Velvet Underground, whom we cherish for being unpopular, only became so when Warhol moved on and the spotlight turned away. Musicians can take heart: this is a story that could be repeated, many times.

Erling Kagge: The Art of Adventure

This article was first published online by Wallpaper* Magazine on 1 Jun 2015

Around the waterfront in Oslo, you can experience what the director of Norway’s Institute for Contemporary Art has called the city’s ‘dynamic moment’. Scaffolding signals a new wave of cultural destinations that will join existing gems such as the Opera House, the ambitious Ekeberg sculpture park, and a high concentration of artist-run spaces.

Beside the Oslofjord is the sweeping glass roof of the Renzo Piano-designed Astrup Fearnley Museum, which now houses an intriguing collection of contemporary art, titled Love Story. It belongs to Arctic explorer, lawyer, publisher, and all-round thrill-seeker Erling Kagge.

Having sailed repeatedly across the Atlantic, conquered the ‘Three Poles’ – North, South, and the summit of Everest – and reached the cover of Time magazine, Kagge began to seek challenges from the world of art. The result is a collection that emphasises youthful anarchy, pop euphoria, and probing post-conceptual artists.

Kagge’s collection includes comprehensive bodies of Raymond Pettibon, Franz West, Tauba Auerbach, Trisha Donnelly, Sergej Jenson, Klara Lidén and Wolfgang Tillmans. In a book he has published for the exhibition, A Poor Collector’s Guide to Buying Great Art, Kagge compares collecting to his exploits as an explorer. He likes to gamble on artists early in their careers, buying them in big quantities, and moving on when they become established.

The main theme of Kagge’s collection is not a theme at all, but an unresolved quality. ‘I find it difficult to love what I understand. Great art to me is strange’, he says, ‘I strongly believe you sometimes have to break rules to feel free’. He likes artists who embody their work, and has a special affinity for Trisha Donnelly: ‘It is as though her personality has taken form’.

While most people who turn to collecting because they’ve done everything else have terrible taste, Kagge’s boldness and curiosity have served him well.

 

James Shaw’s Organic Future

A version of this article first appeared in the Microsoft Five to Nine newspaper, curated by Protein, on 23 JUN 2015

Lately designer James Shaw has been busy considering the advantages of cooking people. He’s working on a hot tub for an artists’ retreat in Sweden, which will be cleaned by plants rather than chemicals. “Humans are full of nutrients,” he explains. “When you’re essentially cooking yourself in a big pot you’ll be oozing nutrients, which you would normally have to balance out with things like chlorine and hydrogen peroxide.” In his hot tub, however, you’ll be feeding the plants your own human stock.

The human body is only the latest subject of Shaw’s endless optimism and curiosity. His south London workshop, hidden behind scaffolding on the second floor of a huge housing estate, is churning out a growing range of bespoke products, from furniture to experimental gastronomy equipment. Everywhere he looks, Shaw sees the potential for new objects and for new ways of making. Time and again he turns to problems solved long ago, and solves them again in a new way.

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James Shaw’s Symbiotic Hot Tub in Gotland, Sweden

While some inspiration comes from the products around him, some comes from the darkest depths of the internet and the experts who lurk there. “We’ve got a million Youtube videos available which I use all the time. There’s all these people out there who have so much knowledge and they can teach you to do anything,” he explains.

Shaw is a hands-on designer. He has tried designing for factory production, but quickly became dissatisfied. “There’s this traditional way designers work which is purely formal, where you’re detached from the making of the object, from the materiality of it, just drawing stuff on a sheet of paper or a computer,” he says. “Instead of starting with a blank piece of paper I’ll start with a bit of material and some substance, and try to squish it together and see what happens.” It’s this openness to thinking outside of the box that allows Shaw to be so creative.

He has a way with working with molten substances that he squirts from an array of guns, many of which are tools he has invented himself. The Plastic Extruding Gun, for instance, allows him to work with molten plastic without the industrial equipment usually needed. He hands me a colourful, alien-looking lump of matter, which is in fact milk-bottle plastic. Shaw is drawn to this material because he feels its potential is wasted. “It has this invisibility because it’s so ubiquitous. But you can melt it down and re-use it endlessly.”

Plastic Extruding gun in action
Plastic Extruding gun in action

One such obscure lump provided the starting point for Shaw’s breakthrough project, the Well Proven Chair, a radical new furniture design, made in collaboration with designer Marjan van Aubel, which got him nominated for the Design Museum Award, and which won the Arc Chair Design Award. In this instance, the moment of discovery was a chemical reaction between waste sawdust and soya bio resin, creating a substance that rose like bread in an oven.

Shaw immediately sensed the significance of his discovery. “I really see that chair as an image of an amazing new organic future where objects are grown rather than wasted,” he says. “It’s a much more efficient way of making stuff. We are slowly starting to get to it through biological engineering. It’s going to be the future.”

Like many designers today, Shaw is preoccupied with sustainability, which is a big motive for his various products. But the question is, having discovered a self-growing material, why did he choose to make a beautiful chair out of it? The answer, as the hot tub also shows, is that Shaw sees the desirability of a product as a useful way of opening our eyes to new ideas. “We’re all really good at looking at an object and thinking, ‘what would my life be like with this thing in it?’ I think that’s a really interesting tool to play with.”

Well-proven chairs
Well-proven chairs

It’s clear that for Shaw, sharing ideas is an important part of a designer’s job. He has recently been involved in a community scheme in Manchester called “Tearing Stuff Apart,” organised by artist Àgata Alcañiz, where a team of scientists, artists and designers teach the public about the products they use every day. In one class, they explained globalisation by taking apart a cheap hairdryer and tracing the origins of its numerous parts from around the world. “It’s about people actually experiencing stuff,” says Shaw, “finding ways to make abstract ideas direct is so important.”

But Shaw is only playing his part in the greater explosion of knowledge-sharing that is changing the shape of the design industry, and many others. “We’ve got a million Youtube videos out there, I use them all the time. There’s all these people, they have so much knowledge, and they can teach you to do anything.” This is fertile ground for would-be independent designers. Shaw’s advice to them? “I think the key to any creative endeavour is just to jump in there and get started,” he says. “How you approach unknowns is a big part of it. You need to approach them with openness and confidence.”

Of course, going it alone is tough. But for someone with Shaw’s creative energy, the appeal is obvious: “It means you can design your own life essentially. You can look at the things that are important to the way you want to live, like having a nice lunch with the people you share the studio with every day.”

Frank Auerbach: The Art of Immersion

This article was first published online by Prospect Magazine on 7 Oct 2013

Frank Auerbach’s studio, where the painter has worked day and night for almost sixty years, has long been treasured by journalists, photographers and art historians. The dusty room in Camden, devoid of worldly possessions and inhabited by “stratified chunks of paint,” has itself been painted continuously in words, as if visitors are intoxicated by turpentine and charcoal dust. Artists’ workplaces often create magical atmospheres, and these studio narratives fill me with jealousy. But it seems that the urge to describe this room stems also from the fact that Auerbach himself is so difficult to grasp.

Frank Auerbach came to Britain in 1939, aged eight, a refuge of Nazism and soon to be orphaned. He does not fit glamorous notions of artistic genius. Compared with some of his friends in the London group which has dominated British painting in the last six decades—Francis Bacon the stalker of Soho backstreets, Lucian Freud the gambler—Auerbach’s is not a personality that generates its own column inches. Instead, his story is underwritten by patience, erudition and endless repetition. He has painted the same handful of sitters and landscapes in a precise cycle spiralling back to the beginning of his career; only his style fluctuates, gradually, like an ocean. His art, despite the constant respect of his peers, has at times been incompatible with a mainstream establishment seduced by novelty.

Frank Auerbach, Head of E.O.W (1965), oil on canvas. (© Frank Auerbach/courtesy of Marlborough Fine Art)
Frank Auerbach, Head of E.O.W (1965), oil on canvas. (© Frank Auerbach/courtesy of Marlborough Fine Art)

However, that is no longer the case. Auerbach now has not only the financial and critical success he deserves, he also has an honour most artists could only dream of. As of this weekend, at the Ordovas gallery on Savile Row, his work hangs alongside Rembrandt. “Raw Truth: Auerbach – Rembrandt” presents six of Auerbach’s paintings from 1961-5 alongside four works by the 17th century Dutch master.

Auerbach has long spoken about Rembrandt’s influence, and it is clear in the works selected. Three blistering portrayals of Primrose Hill echo, amplify and distort Rembrandt’s brooding etch, The Three Trees. Auerbach’s The Sitting Room and Rembrandt’s biblical scene Joseph Telling his Dreams share structural elements. The works create a rhythm of their own, drawing you in to examine the infinitely detailed Rembrandts, and out again to allow Auerbach’s broad patterns to take shape.

It is tempting to say that the contrast makes Rembrandt appear strikingly modern. In the Portrait of Dr Ephraïm Bueno, the thick brushstrokes seem to presage not only Auerbach but also Soutine. The fertile darkness of The Three Trees is almost suggestive of Goya. Yet this anachronistic approach is misleading. It repeats the conceit that some sort of decisive dislocation—whether it be advanced capitalism or photography—separates “modern” art from all that went before it. This leads to a patronising discussion about which artists from history should be granted the right to join us on this side. It also implies that modern artists need answer only to new criteria.

Installation shot from "Raw Truth" at Ordovas Gallery, Saville Row. Photography by Mike Bruce
Auerbach’s three paintings of Primrose Hill from 1964-5. Installation shot from “Raw Truth” at Ordovas Gallery, Saville Row. Photography by Mike Bruce

The idea behind the Rembrandt/Auerbach exhibition is that there has been not one great upheaval but many—that revolution is itself the common language of great art. Perhaps no living artist could fill this brief as effectively as Auerbach, who considers artists of all ages his contemporaries in an ongoing conversation of ideas. The exhibition is a moving vindication of this deep engagement with the past.

At the stage of his career seen in “Raw Truth,” Auerbach was applying paint with unprecedented thickness­—he recently joked that he would no longer be able to lift one of these canvases—as a result of countless sessions reworking each piece. This unrelenting approach reflects his belief that a subject must be properly understood before its “raw truth” can be reached. Such an understanding is technical, but also emotional, grinding down all superficial relations to discover a fleeting essence. Becoming familiar with a subject “leads you to its unfamiliarity,” he once said, “just as people only blurt out the raw truth in the middle of a family quarrel.”

The purpose of Auerbach’s inner quarrel is to offer the viewer an experience scarcely available in contemporary art: immersion. In an age dominated by momentary distraction, Auerbach, like Rembrandt, presents us with a puzzle, an overwhelming and uncomfortable question. His art is a labyrinth, in the centre of which the viewer must find him. He reminds us that immersing yourself in a painting can be an intense, gripping experience. As Auerbach himself put it, “I dislike the idea of ‘art for the people’—what people like is great art!”