Thursday, 5 April 2012

Lucian Freud Exhibition

"Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was one of the twentieth century's most important artists, a modern master of figuration. Freud had a life-long preoccupation with the human face and figure. His portraits often record the life of a relationship"
When I first heard that the National Portrait Gallery was having a Lucian Freud exhibition, I was over the moon. I first came across Freud when I was doing my Art A Level, I had a slight obsession with the naked form and was looking at new ways of portraying the body. Through his work he was trying to capture individuality and immortality, which is something that I was also writing about in my English Coursework at the time.  Therefore his work came as an inspiration; I would pin up pictures of his paintings next to mine and would try to imitate his technique. He once said "As far as I am concerned the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as flesh does".

So when I was back from university last weekend for the Easter Holidays I dragged my family on the next available day to see the exhibition. We queued for half an hour on a sunny, sunday morning amongst hundreds of others. 
The exhibition which spans sevens decades of his work was arranged in ten rooms, starting with his early explorations of the portrait. It took us just over an hour to work our way through it. To see Freud's work up close is mesmerising, his paintings are raw, truthful and autobiographical. His close examination of humans lasted his whole life until his death this summer, he himself even said that he was interested in people as animals, and it was for that reason he liked them naked. " When I paint clothes I am really painting naked people who are covered in clothes". This is visible throughout the collection, where I felt that the pieces where people were clothed were perhaps less strong that their naked counterparts. The Exhibition as a whole was fascinating, and I would recommend it to everyone, even if you're not a big fan of art. 

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