Author(s): David Dawson; Philippe de Montebello
Intimate portraits from one of the most innovative figurative artists of the twentieth century and the master of painted flesh. Curated by the artist's longtime studio assistant and friend, David Dawson, this important volume features twenty major and rarely seen paintings by Lucian Freud (1922-2011). The book begins with works from 1990, when Freud began painting the performance artist Leigh Bowery: these large-scale portraits of Bowery ushered in a new sense of monumentality in the artist's oeuvre. Inspired by Bowery's impressive physique, Freud began working on a larger scale, which emphasized the physical presence of his subjects. Despite their grand scale, Freud's subjects are still depicted with a sense of intimacy, penetrating honesty, and psychological depth. The naked body is a subject that has special significance in Freud's oeuvre. Nakedness was a way for Freud to get a more truthful portrait. Freud's probing oils get fresh consideration in this monograph and Dawson provides insights and stories about Freud working on these portraits, giving an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the life of a contemporary master of representational art.