Lucian Freud 1922 - 2011
Born in Berlin, grandson of Sigmund Freud, he came to England in 1932 and trained at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and later at Goldsmith’s College; he also studied with Cedric Morris. In 1939 he associated with Stephen Spender and David Kentish in Wales and during the 1940s he established a firm friendship with Francis Bacon. In 1942 he began to work full time as an artist. In 1944 he held his first exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery and thereafter showed at various London galleries, including the London Gallery from 1948-51, Marlborough Fine Art form 1958-68, Anthony d’Offay from 1972, and in numerous group exhibitions.
In 1974 and 1988 retrospective exhibitions of his work were shown at the Hayward Gallery, London. Internationally his paintings have been exhibited in Paris, Vancouver, Tokyo, Yale, Denmark, Venice and California. In 1954 he exhibited at the Venice Biennial with Ben Nicholson and Bacon and the 1988 Retrospective toured Washington, Paris and Berlin. In 1951 his Interior at Paddington was a prize winner at the Festival of Britain Competition.
Freud’s early painting reflects his love of drawing in its meticulously observed, claustrophobic detail and unswerving realism, often overlain with an uncanny atmosphere. In these works, the colour was bleached, the paint surface smooth, and the light conceived as a revealer of detail, e.g. Girl with a White Dog, 1951-2 (Tate Gallery). Later in the 1960s the modelling of form became stronger and the handling more painterly, and later work has united his interest in paint texture and physicality with precision of contour. Portraits, mostly paintings of family and friends, reveal Freud’s search for physical truth, e.g. the series of portraits of his mother, 1971-3. Similarly, his naked figures offer no concession to the tradition of the nude but share the same uncompromising vision and intensity.... read more