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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Frank Auerbach

A while ago I remember noticing that the painter Frank Auerbach was born during the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto t-square that occurred back around 1931. I remember thinking that his chart would be great to look at in order to understand how this Cardinal t-square expresses itself. Since Cardinal Signs represent the beginnings of the seasons and thus the beginnings of all new things I was reminded to once again try to look at his chart when I ran across a quote of Auerbach's:

"I feel like I am always moving forward."

(sorry, I accidentally just erased the source)

Frank Auerbach
b. Apr. 29, 1931 Berlin, Germany

Sun 9 Taurus; Moon Virgo or Libra; NN 14 Aries

So, first of all we notice that Auerbach has Sun in a sign ruled by Venus. That's great for painters. Venus also rules his South Node through the sign of Libra and if his Moon is in Libra it will also rule his Moon. (I can never tell a Moon sign. I tend to prefer the idea of a Virgo Moon because Auerbach prefers his drawings to paintings and he is a process worker. Libra also tends to want to make things "Pretty").

Auerbach also has a great signature for an artist in a Sun (ego) trine Neptune (mystery, boundlessness, formlessness).

If you don't know his paintings or drawings, google them now.

So, if one allows for a 10 degree orb in the big outer planet t-square of Saturn-Uranus-Pluto one sees that it also includes Jupiter and the Nodal Axis in Auerbach's chart. Saturn is at 24 Capricorn opposing Pluto 19 Cancer-Jupiter 15 Cancer and squaring Uranus 17 Aries-NN 14 Aries. This aspect will be pretty closely reconfigured over the next year in a scrambled fashion with Jupiter-Uranus in Aries/Pisces opposing Saturn in Libra and squaring Pluto (NN?) in Capricorn.

Auerbach's childhood shows the extreme losses that he suffered early on. His Jewish parents sent him to England as part of the Kindertransport program to escape the Nazis. They themselves perished in the camps.

If you don't know Auerbach's painting or drawing, google them now. Sorry I still can't do pictures. But I think one can see the need to really search for reality, for how things really are which can come from such a devastation in life.

So, I don't know how people continue on with this level of pain. I certainly suck at it. But I suppose that with Uranus conjunct an Aries NN Auerbach has great abilities as a starter. If one looks at his paintings one can see the expressionist side. But, if one studies Auerbach's working methods (I haven't really studied, but did watch a documentary about him) one sees that he is constantly working over his previous marks. In the documentary his models are shown talking about the marathon sessions and the inability to understand how he knows when his drawing and paintings are finished. This doesn't seem to be a need to correct what's already there. It seems to be more of a need to start and restart and start again. That makes more sense to me at least from the astrological side because of that strong Cardinal t-square which would need to start and restart. Eventually one finds one's end in one's beginning, that's how the mystics explain it.

Another interesting side to Auerbach's painting style is his use of extremely thick paint which is called Impasto painting. In the Wikipedia article there is a story about how at one of his first shows that paint was applied so heavily that the canvases were laid out flat rather than on the wall in order to keep the paint from falling off.

I couldn't figure what astrological indicator might show the expression to need to use thick paint until I noticed that in the Wikipedia article about another great "expressionist-style" impasto painter, Chaim Soutine, a story is mentioned called "Skin." (by Roald Dahl) The story is said to describe Soutine's impasto style and revolves around a supposedly true story about Soutine that he tatooed one of his paintings on a friend.

The word "Skin" immediately brings up the idea of Saturn and this planet shows up in the same ways in the two natal charts. Both artists have Saturn in Cardinal Signs and in aspect to Pluto. If ever there were a combination that needs a "Thick Skin" Saturn-Pluto would be it. Both men share the same Locomotive shaped charts with Saturn standing out as the lead planet.

Chaim Soutine
b. Jan. 13, 1893

Sun 24 Capricorn; Moon Scorpio or Sagittarius; NN 4 Taurus

You'll notice that both artists have Sun in earth signs, which is a more sensual element. Sun is trining Auerbach's Neptune. The Sun is quindecile a on degree conjunction of Neptune to Pluto in Soutine's chart. Once again, we see the ability to express (Sun) one of the prominent ideas of modern art which is formlessness and boundlessness, mystery and spirituality.



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