A portrait by artist Frank Auerbach described as “rare and important” is to be unveiled at the Ben Uri Gallery in London later this week, as part of an exhibition profiling the lives of refugees.

Berlin-born Auerbach’s ‘Head of Helen Gillespie,’ on loan from the collection of Richard and Julia Anson, was painted in the 1960s and is to go on show at the St. John’s Wood venue on Friday, alongside work by his contemporary Lucian Freud.

“Their careers frequently suffered through the experience of exile,” said a gallery spokesman. “In an era of intense political debate around migration, this is the first of a series of exhibitions presented by Ben Uri marking the wide contribution of refugees and immigrants to British art.”

Auerbach was born into a Jewish family in Berlin in 1931 and sent to England in 1939, his parents remaining in Germany, where they were later killed in concentration camps. Naturalised in 1947, he moved to a studio in Camden in 1954, where he has remained ever since.