Lucian Freud is arguably the most important and distinguished figurative painter working today. This exhibition comprises some 50 paintings and 20 works on paper and etchings from the last six decades, several being completed just months prior to the exhibition and others never shown before in a public venue.
Best known for his portraits and nudes, Freud’s subjects include his family, friends, lovers and fellow artists. His early paintings and works on paper are often associated with a meticulous control of the brushstrokes and line, depicting people, plants and still-life, including several made while living in Ireland. From the late 1950s he began to paint people using more various flesh tones and thicker pigment. A number of ‘fragments’ in the exhibition give an indication of the artist’s willingness to leave a picture partly bare.
The works in the exhibition are organised thematically and focus on several of the artist’s key areas of interest, for example, paintings of the same person at different ages, self-portraits, animals and double portraits. The formidably detailed study of his garden in Notting Hill Gate from 2005-06 is as dramatic as any of the nudes.
Lucian Freud, grandson of the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, was born in 1922 in Berlin, but moved with his family to the UK at the age of 11. He studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and the Cedric Morris’s East Anglican School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham. His first solo exhibition, at the Lefevre Gallery in 1944, featured the now celebrated painting The Painter’s Room, 1944. Since then Freud has become one of the best-known and most highly-regarded British artists of recent times. A major retrospective of his work was held in Tate Britain in 2002.
The exhibition is curated by Catherine Lampert, specialist on the work of Freud, a model for the artist’s friend Frank Auerbach and former Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery. The exhibition traveled to the Louisiana Museum, near Copenhagen in Denmark, from 15 September 2007 – 28 January 2008 and to the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, from 16 February – 8 June 2008.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with texts by Catherine Lampert, art critic and writer, Martin Gayford, and Freud’s son, Frank Paul. Price €24.00.
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