Blain|Southern and Acquavella Galleries
Clth, 11.75 x 11 in. / 256 pgs / 110 color.
Pub Date 4/30/2012
Out of print
Catalog: SPRING 2012 p. 19
ISBN 9780956990426 TRADE
List Price: $55.00 CDN $65.00
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BLAIN|SOUTHERN AND ACQUAVELLA GALLERIES
Lucian Freud Drawings
Text by William Feaver, Mark Rosenthal.
From his earliest years as a child prodigy, Lucian Freud prided himself on his virtuoso drawing skills. The interplay in his work between paper (for both drawing and etching) and canvas was a defining feature of his creative habits throughout his career, as Freud's foremost scholar and curator, William Feaver, establishes with this masterful overview of Freud's drawing output. The fruit of Feaver's privileged access to Freud's studio, Lucian Freud Drawings includes more than 100 drawings, around half of which have never been exhibited or published, from the 1940s up to the artist's death in July 2011. Examined here are portraits of Freud's mother and father, his children and close friends-among them the painter Francis Bacon and artist Leigh Bowery-as well as landscapes and studies of animals. Spanning more than seven decades, this beautifully produced volume illuminates the very foundations of this master draftsman's oeuvre.
Lucian Freud was born in Germany in 1922, and permanently relocated to London in 1933 during the ascent of the Nazi regime. After seeing brief service during the Second World War, Freud had his first solo exhibition in 1944 at the Alex Reid & Lefevre Gallery in London. Despite exhibiting only occasionally over the course of his career, Freud's 1995 portrait "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" was sold at auction, at Christie's New York in May 2008, for $33.6 million-setting a world record for sale value of a painting by a living artist. Freud died in London in 2011.
Featured image is Lucian Freud's 1944 ink drawing, "Dead Monkey." In his catalog essay, Mark Rosenthal writes, "With Freud's exquisite depictions of dead animals, he assumed a kind of maudlin approach to 'convulsive beauty.'"
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
The New York Review of Books
The exhibition and catalog help remind us of a more vibrant, dramatizing artist than the Freud we have been familiar with in the past few decadeds. Not that his art became, over the years, radically diferent. On some level, the English painter's work remained remarkably consistent all the way through.
FROM THE BOOK"Freud clearly studied Surrealism, particularly its practice of making unlikely juxtapositions and creating unsettling moods. While Freud was, reports William Feaver, unaware of the Neue Sachlichkeit ('New Objectivity') group of German artists at work between the wars, his art might be likened to theirs, for one observes a similar taste for gloom, erotic subject matter and a demi-monde of hardened characters. From Surrealism, Freud may have gained an appreciation for what is called 'magic realism,' wherein natural appearances hold curious, even foreboding, interpretations of reality. Indeed Freud's remarkable attention to detail would have converged with the notion of 'magic realism,' by which the viewer is deceived into believing that an unimagined image is not contrived at all. In this transformation of the prosaic to the fantastic, the appreciative viewer might exclaim, in Surrealist fashion, merveilleuse ('marvelous'), meaning that an aesthetic trick has given reality a heightened presence. One more Surrealist goal was 'convulsive beauty,' wherein the conventional notion of attractiveness gains a disturbing dimension."
- Mark Rosenthal, excerpted from his essay Reporting from New York on Lucian Freud, reproduced in Lucian Freud Drawings.
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