Art Monographs William Feaver Lucian Freud

ISBN 13: 9780847829521

Lucian Freud

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9780847829521: Lucian Freud

This volume, with more than 400 reproductions, will be the most comprehensive publication to date on Lucian Freud, covering a span of seventy years and including many works not previously reproduced. The result is a corpus of great works that reveal him to be the premier heir today of Rembrandt, Courbet, and Cézanne. The book includes not only Freud’s paintings but also his sketches, woodcuts, and powerful etchings. While the bulk of his paintings are female nudes, his cityscapes, plant studies, and interiors, executed in his distinctive muted palette and visible brushwork, are all included. Freud, who has lived in London ever since his family left Berlin in 1933 when he was ten, has achieved preeminence through his ruthless perception of the human form. His importance has long been recognized in England, but his present super-celebrity status dates from a retrospective at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C., in 1987. William Feaver, painter and for many years art critic for The Observer, provides a unique account of Freud’s preoccupations and achievement. Startling, moving, profoundly entertaining, the book lives up to Freud’s advice to students when getting them to paint self-portraits: “To try and make it the most revealing, telling, and believable object. Something really shameless, you know.”

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About the Author:

William Feaver is a painter, critic, writer, and curator. He is the author of Freud’s previous exhibition catalogue, Lucian Freud (Tate, 2002). He has curated the following exhibitions: Lucian Freud (2002 Tate and tour), Freud (2005 Museo Correr, Venice), and Freud & Auerbach (2006 V&A).

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"Perhaps the chief source of pleasure in the aspect of a nude," Sickert said, "is that it is in the nature of a gleam-a gleam of light and warmth and life." This sense of arrested and arresting illumination was what Freud now struggled to achieve. How was he to paint warm and weighty nakedness, and individuality besides? "I'm very conscious of whether I've got a naked man or a naked woman in front of me. Sometimes I can't stop. Like those cars that get so hot that when you turn the engine off it goes on banging away." The sitter for Girl on a Turkish Sofa of 1966 was clad, initially, and earlier attempts at full length nudes, three or four years before, were uncertain, hesitant almost. The only one to have anything like the spontaneity of a gleam was Naked Child Laughing (1963, pl. X), a study of his eldest daughter Annie, a shiveringly self-conscious fifteen- year-old quite nonplussed. A year later, in 1964, Freud was employed briefly as a visiting tutor at Norwich School of Art. By way of finale he set his students the challenge of painting naked self-portraits. "I want you to try and make it the most revealing, telling and believable object," he said to them. "Something really shameless, you know." The project was frowned on by the college authorities and provoked protests from some parents and a few of the students. For Freud it was both a parting shot and a declaration of intent. From then onwards he lengthened the odds. His nudes were to become ever more revealing, telling, and believable. He was to paint young bodies and old, pregnant, portly, skinny, showy. He painted himself bare-shouldered, peering through a bewilderment of leafage (Interior with Plant, Reflection Listening, 1967-6/8) and, in Large Interior Paddington, 1968-69, a small daughter, Ib, lying under the spreading zimmerlinde [def?] in his Gloucester Terrace room. Ten years later Ib sat for him naked, as did several other daughters and more than one son. For them the sessions were opportunities to familiarise themselves with him, "one of the great absentee fathers of the age," as he himself remarked. All that he required of them was punctuality and the ability to face up to the long working hours. For this they had to be mentally resourceful, drawing on "the inner life that's ticking on." Jacquetta Eliot, the sitter for Small Naked Portrait of 1973--74, and other paintings done around that time, stressed the rewards ("champagne on dirty floorboards") and, beyond the necessary dedication, the pleasure of sitting for someone "funny and clever, ardent, urgent, and fantastically intimate." The process was demanding: up to six hours a session day or night for weeks and months, years even. Over the decades sofas came and went, leather cracking, stuffing seeping through gashes in the upholstery, while those lying on them went through their phases of life, childhood to adulthood to old age. The paintings thrived, growing in individuality, in give, in feel. Naked Portrait II, 1980--81, breathes the snoring exhaustion of full-term pregnancy. The body propped against a mound of waste linen (Standing by the Rags,) 1988--89), then stretched out on floorboards against a crumpled tide (Lying by the Rags, 1989--90) is dreamily remote, roaming "the inner life" without which, Freud maintains, no sitter can be truly satisfactory. Most of those who have sat for Freud have been family, intimates, friends, and friends of friends. Occasionally-usually in times of financial emergency-he has undertaken what amount to commissions, in all but name, painting Baron Thyssen, for example (Man in a Chair, 1983--85) and Lord Rothschild (Man in a Chair, 1989). Others he has taken on as extraordinary specimens. In the early Nineties he came across the Australian Leigh Bowery, a performer who exploited his body to outrageous effect. Noted in clubbing circles for the grotesque costumes he devised for himself, Bowery regarded his public appearances as an ever-changing work of art. Freud was impressed. "The way he edits his body is amazingly aware," he said. When he asked Bowery to sit he half expected him to appear in one of his outfits. He decided however to come as himself, stripped off right away and proceeded to be painted baby-like but knowing: a shaven genie disporting himself in contortions that no amateur model could sustain. For four years Bowery provided Freud with a plenitude of baroque nakedness, bare-faced, bare-bodied, basking in the attention. Bowery and his seamstress Nicola Bateman, whom he married, shared the studio bed for Freud's biggest ever painting: "Something that I had always wanted to do. Do it so that it didn't look specially like one of my pictures." Its title, And the Bridegroom, came from A. E. Housman's "A Shropshire Lad" (XII):

Lovers lying two and two

Ask not whom they sleep beside,

And the bridegroom all night through

Never turns him to the bride. Here, like lion and lamb, the ostensibly incompatible bodies harmonised. Later, as Girl Sitting in the Attic Doorway, Bateman perched high up like a candidate for a ceiling painting. In Portrait on a Red Sofa, she sprawled as though falling; as Naked Girl Perched on a Chair, she was overtly distraught. Bowery died of AIDS on New Year's Day, 1995.

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Book Description Rizzoli International Publications, United States, 2007. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This volume, with more than 400 reproductions, will be the most comprehensive publication to date on Lucian Freud, covering a span of seventy years and including many works not previously reproduced. The result is a corpus of great works that reveal him to be the premier heir today of Rembrandt, Courbet, and Cezanne. The book includes not only Freud s paintings but also his sketches, woodcuts, and powerful etchings. While the bulk of his paintings are female nudes, his cityscapes, plant studies, and interiors, executed in his distinctive muted palette and visible brushwork, are all included. Freud, who has lived in London ever since his family left Berlin in 1933 when he was ten, has achieved preeminence through his ruthless perception of the human form. His importance has long been recognized in England, but his present super-celebrity status dates from a retrospective at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C., in 1987. William Feaver, painter and for many years art critic for The Observer, provides a unique account of Freud s preoccupations and achievement. Startling, moving, profoundly entertaining, the book lives up to Freud s advice to students when getting them to paint self-portraits: To try and make it the most revealing, telling, and believable object. Something really shameless, you know. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780847829521

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