- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Lucian Freud exhibition opens with royal visit
Question of the Day
LONDON (AP) - There is a vast amount of flesh _ clear and smooth or wrinkled and mottled _ on display in the latest show at Britain’s National Portrait Gallery, a retrospective of the work of Lucian Freud.
Freud was the most renowned British portrait painter of the 20th century, and he found that clothes often got in the way.
The artist, who died in July at age 88, approached the human body the way his psychoanalyst grandfather Sigmund Freud approached the mind _ determined to unmask its secrets.
The exhibition, which kicks of with a royal preview for the Duchess of Cambridge on Wednesday, features more than 100 paintings completed over 70 years, many of them nude studies of the artist’s friends and family.
The exhibition opens with early head-and-shoulders portraits from the 1940s and ‘50s, then moves on to the to vast, monumental nudes for which Freud became famous. He painted standing up in his London studio, layering oil paint on large canvases with a broad, coarse-haired brush.
Many of the paintings have generic names _ “Naked Solicitor,” “Man in a Blue Scarf” _ but the portraits are revealing images of the artist’s inner circle, or sometimes Freud himself, often naked and looking vulnerably exposed.
Freud kept his focus on depicting the human body even when the prevailing fashion in art turned to abstraction.
National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne said that for seven decades Freud looked at people with an “unrelenting, determined eye.”
“They sometimes feel in your face and very explicitly naked,” Nairne said of the paintings. “But that was always with the cooperation of the sitter. In the end, they were sympathetic.
“None of these are casual sitters. They are not figures _ they are individuals.”
Berlin-born Freud, who moved to Britain with his family in 1933 when the Nazis came to power in Germany, painted his mother, his brother, his daughters Bella and Esther, and an eclectic array of acquaintances. The subjects of his paintings range from performance artist Leigh Bowery and supermodel Kate Moss to Brig. Andrew Parker-Bowles, a horse-riding friend (who got to keep his uniform on).
He was at work until the very end. The exhibition includes Freud’s unfinished final painting, “Portrait of the Hound,” which shows his assistant David Dawson and whippet Eli, and appears to have been cut off mid-brushstroke.
Most of Freud’s sitters seem to have loved the experience of posing for the master. Sue Tilley, subject of several nudes including “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” _ which sold at auction in 2008 for $33.6 million, a record for a living artist _ remembers long sessions of chat and laughter.
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq