'This part of London is my world. I've been wandering around these streets for so long that I have become attached to them, and as fond of them as people are of their pets' (Auerbach, quoted in C. Lampert, N. Rosenthal & I. Carlisle (ed.), Frank Auerbach Paintings and Drawings 1954-2001, exh.cat., London, 2001, p. 15).
Frank Auerbach has long been fascinated by the streets of London, which have proved in some ways his most constant inspiration. His paintings of the British capital stretch back to his images of the bomb-strewn cityscape of the post-War era to the present day. In Park Village - East Summer II, painted in 2005, there is a breezy, warm sense of the bustle of the city that has been his adoptive home since his youth. The car and the figures in the background lend this picture a rare and engaging sense of movement; Auerbach capturing life on the street.
Rather than mere topography, Auerbach has long sought to capture sensation through his lush oils. The swirling impasto that covers so much of the surface of Park Village - East Summer II speaks of the artist's own vigorous movements, becoming the organic result of his own reaction to the streets he so loves. The surface has been built up over the legendarily strenuous process that Auerbach has developed in his paintings, adding oils and then scraping them off and repeating this process until the motif gains some sense of completion in his mind: 'All my paintings are the end result of hundreds of transmutations' (Auerbach, quoted in ibid., p. 26).