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POSTPONED – Due to unforeseen circumstances this talk is now postponed to March 2020. Subscribe to the IMMA Talks list for updates on exact date.

The renowned writer William Feaver reflects on his longstanding career and collaborations with artists, as one of the UK’s leading art critics, curator, and former chief art critic of the Observer. This provides the backdrop to introduce his latest book, The Lives of Lucian Freud, YOUTH 1922 – 1968, 2019, the first volume of his landmark new work of biography of one of the most important artists of the 20th century Lucian Freud. Though ferociously private, Freud and Feaver spoke weekly – about painting and the art world, but also about his life, loves and ‘coming of age’. Hear the author speaks about his unique biography, shot through with Freud’s very own words.

Introduced and moderated by Christina Kennedy, Head of Collections, IMMA, this talk is presented in the context of the current exhibition Life Above Everything: Lucian Freud and Jack B. Yeats.

Feaver’s book, The Lives of Lucian Freud, YOUTH 1922 – 1968, will be available for purchase in the IMMA bookshop. More details here

About the Artist

Lucian Freud 1922–2011

Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century. Renowned for his portrayal of the human form, Freud is best known for his intimate, honest, often visceral portraits. Working only from life Freud’s studio was intensely private and he mainly worked with those he was close to, often asking subjects to sit for hundreds of hours over multiple sittings to better capture the essence of their personality.
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William Feaver discusses the first volume of his landmark new work of biography of one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Though ferociously private, Lucian Freud spoke most weeks for many years to Feaver – his close confidante and collaborator – about painting and the art world, but also about his life and loves. The result is a definitive, electrifying biography, shot through with Freud’s own words. In the first of two volumes, Feaver traces Freud’s journey as a young man’s coming of age: his childhood in Weimar Berlin through art school and the Merchant Navy, his post-war adventures in Paris and Greece, and his return to Soho, where he consorted with aristocracy, violent criminals and muses from Greta Garbo to Margot Fonteyn. See more details here.

About the Speaker

William Feaver was art critic for the Observer for 23 years, as well as working extensively as a painter, curator. He is on the Academic Board of the Royal Drawing School where he also currently tutors. He curated Lucian Freud’s 2002 retrospective at Tate Britain in 2002, and the 2012 exhibition of Freud’s drawings in London and New York.

Curated exhibitions include from George Cruikshank to the Tate retrospectives of Michael Andrews and Lucian Freud (subject of his most recent book), Constable (Grand Palais Paris 2003). His book ‘Pitmen Painters’ was recently adapted by Lee Hall for an award-laden play and he is at present organising a related exhibition in Vienna ‘When We Were Young’, a study of children’s book illustration, did particularly well in Japan. His book, ‘Frank Auerbach’, was published in 2009.

Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.