Monday, November 30, 2015

In the Beginning: Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud (1922-2011), grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, is considered by the Art Establishment to be a leading British 20th century modernist. His Wikipedia entry is here.

Alas, I fail to see much merit in Freud's work aside from that he painted subjects in a largely representational manner. After due consideration, if I had to characterize his works using one word, it would be: Icky.

As for his early works, they too were essentially representational, though shapes were simplified and distorted to one degree or another. The following images were found on a BBC web page.


Welsh Landscape - ca. 1939-40
Painted about the time Freud was an art student.

Man with a Thistle (Self-Portrait) - 1946

Girl with a Kitten - 1947

Kitty - his first wife - 1948-49
For some reason all three of the above portraits feature heads where the part above the eyes is compressed.

Still Life with Squid and Sea Urchin - 1949

Girl in a Green Dress - 1954

The Painter's Brother, Stephen - 1985-86
This is an example of Freud's mature style.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"It's mostly unmade beds and genitals".

The money has certainly moved in behind him, he seems to be owned by the right institutions and more than that by the right private collectors, his position will be guarded.

There was a sale of post-war and modern British paintings recently at Sotheby's, and the prices paid surprised me in as much as they were on the low side of the estimate for many of the artists, and selling on the strengths of the individual painting (for the Ravilious, even for Lowry) rather than the name.