Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lucian Freud in Pictures

Lucian Freud,
In tribute, here are a few of the paintings by Lucian Freud (1922-2011) that I either am drawn to or admire, though I must say his work appeals to me, through its idiosyncrasies, truthfulness, energy, near-ugliness, and almost sculptural qualities in terms of the paint on the canvas, and repels me, through those same qualities, in almost equal measures. He was by any measure a significant and original talent, one of Britain's most important painters of all time, and certainly of the 20th century. Freud shares commonalities, with key differences, with peers like R. B. Kitaj (1932-2007), especially in his earlier work, and with Francis Bacon (1909-1992), in his latter career, and I am fonder of their work than I am of Freud's but I find his portraits, which demonstrate a deep humanity and interest in the human, down to our animality, lure me back to puzzle, study, look--and look away. Also intriguing to me is his trajectory, from what stylistically was closer to Surrealism back towards figurative realist painting, but always with a bit of swerve, distortion, heightening, so that he goes even deeper into the subjects that many painters dare.

Please note there are a few nudes here, some NSFW, but I've placed those after the jump.

Boy Smoking, 1950-51 (oil on copper)
Rabbit on a chair, 1944 (oil on canvas)
Reflection With Two Children, 1965 (oil on canvas)

The Painter's Mother II, 1972 (oil on canvas)
Naked Man, Back View 1991-92 (oil on canvas)
More, including nudes, after the jump

Interior in Paddington, 1951 (oil on canvas)
Annie and Alice, 1975 (oil on canvas)
David and Eli, 2003-4 (oil on canvas)
Benefits supervisor sleeping, 1995 (oil on canvas)
Francis Bacon, 1952 (oil on canvas)
Untitled, 1972 (oil on canvas)
John Deakin, 1964 (oil on canvas)

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