Lucian Freud's retrospective at Tate Britain in 2002 was the culmination of a series of acclaimed exhibitions that have marked the painter's career, which spans more than fifty years. He is the greatest figurative painter of our time and is described by the late Bruce Bernard as 'one of the great portrait painters of all time - of all people of all ages and both sexes, clothed and unclothed'. Now in his eightieth year his output has in no way diminished. Lucian Freud is the definitive book on the painter's work and was first published in 1996, in a large edition, which is now much sought after. This revised version in a smaller format makes this great body of work available to a wide readership and ranges from his childhood drawings in the late twenties to his late work at the end of the nineties. The directness of Freud's work unnerves as well as engages the viewer. His gaze is unsparing. 'Freud carried the experience so far that we sometimes wonder if we have any right to be there', wrote John Russell. In admiration of his technical brilliance and sensitive to the interior world he was creating, Herbert Read called him 'the Ingres of existentialism'. But Freud himself declared, 'as far as I am concerned the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as the flesh does'.
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Lucian Freud has always stirred controversy with his radical reinvention of artistic conventions. In particular his graphic male nudes, both portraits of himself and of others, have embodied a rejection of youth's sleek smooth lines in favor of age's unglamorous and unvarnished naturalism. His recent studies of obese male and female models have renewed his reputation as controversialist. This book reminds us that some of his work over the years has been at times more accepted. His portrait of artist Francis Bacon set new standards for truth in portraiture. He painted his mother with huge affection. His landscapes of London have been taken as social commentary, reflections of the metaphorical and literal decay he sees around him. This book records the artist's career after 50 years as a painter.From the Inside Flap:
Lucian Freud's massive nudes are among the most powerful and moving visual images of our time, and in this exhaustive overview of Freud's career, readers can trace how he arrived at them. Photos of Freud at work provide a unique view of this very private man. 340 illustrations, many in color.
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