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Lucien Freud 1922 - 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Paris Art Studies - Lucian Freud (born 1922)

 

1922 – Born 8 December in Berlin in prosperous Jewish family. He is the son of Ernst Ludwig Freud, youngest son of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. His father had studied architecture and painted in a style inspired by the Vienna Secession as a youth. He will be always the favorite son of his mother Lucie Freud, née Brach, daughter of a cereal trader.

1934 – Following the coming to power of the Nazis the family decides to move to England. Lucian is sent with his two brothers to Dartington Hall School in Devon, eventually changing to Bryanston, a more conservative school in Dorset. Detests his drawing master and prefers to ride horses instead.

1936 – Participates in children’s drawing exhibition organized at the Peggy Guggenheim gallery in Cork Street in Mayfair in London.

1938 – Following the Austrian Aunchluss, Sigmund Freud joins his family in London. A horse sculpture gets Lucian admitted to the Central Arts and Crafts  School in London at 15.

1939 – Sigmund Freud dies of cancer in London. Lucian obtains British nationality. Meets writers Stephen Spender (1909-95), Cyril Connolly (1903-74) and Peter Watson (1908-56), editor of Horizon and collector of modern art, who will publish his drawings in the magazine in the future. Lucian enrolls in the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham (until 1942), where he studies under Cedric Morris (1889-1982).

1940 – Meets director of the National Gallery, Sir Kenneth Clark who will visit his studio regularly.

1941 – Invalided out of Merchant Navy, returns to East Anglian School, which has moved to Suffolk.

1942 – Meets painter Graham Sutherland, who admires one of his drawings in Horizon (dead baby of poet Nicholas Moore) and recommends he attend courses at Goldsmith College along with his friend John Craxton.

1943 – Moves to large studio at Delamere Terrace in Paddington, then a very seedy district much bombed during the Blitz. Paints Painter’s Room featuring stuffed zebra given to him by taxidermist Rowland Ward. It will be sold to Lorna Wishart for £ 50. Illustrates a book of poems by Nicholas Moore and a fairy tale by Marie Bonaparte, disciple of Freud.

1944Gambles and bets in London clubs.

1945 – Introduced to Francis Bacon by Graham Sutherland. Both frequent the Bohemian milieu of Soho.

1946 – Spends two months in Paris. Meets Alberto Giacometti and Picasso. Executes his first engravings in London. Spends summer in Greece on island of Poros with John Craxton.

1947 – Meets Kitty Garman, daughter of sculptor Jacob Epstein. He has been having an affair with her aunt Lorna Garman. They will have two daughters Annie and Annabel. Exhibits with Craxton at London Gallery.

1948 – Maries Kitty Garman. They live in Clifton Hill, Maida Vale. Freud keeps the Delamere Ter. studio to work in.Meets French painter and set designer Christian Bérard. Exhibits in “Young Painting in Great Britain”, a show organized by the British Council in the Drouin gallery in Paris.

1949 – Invited by William Coldstream to teach at the Slade School, London. He is tutor to Michael Andrews (1928-95). Does three portrait drawings of Francis Bacon, whom he greatly admires for his freedom and spontaneity in painting.

1950 – Abandons drawing which had occupied much of his time in favor of painting. Exhibits at the Hanover gallery, London.

1951 – Wins Arts Council Prize for “Interior in Paddington”. Bacon paints his first portrait of Freud.

1952 – He is not yet 30 when the Tate Gallery buys two of his pictures, “Girl with a White Dog” (Kitty Garman) and “Francis Bacon”. Divorces Kitty and begins affair with Caroline Blackwood, heiress to the Guinness fortune.

1954 – Selected with Ben Nicholson to represent Great Britain at the Venice Biennale.

1955 – Bacon introduces him to painter Frank Auerbach. Great impact of first Giacometti exhibition in London organized by Arts Council. Frequents Auerbach, Sutherland, Bacon and also painter Leo Kossoff, all members of the future “London School”.

1958 – Exhibits at Marlborough Fine art (he will show there again in 1963 and 1968). Shift into his characteristic painterly style away from linearity and fine surfaces of early career. Divorces Caroline in Mexico. Later Freud will have 2 children by Bernardine Coverley (fashion designer Bella Freud and writer Esther Freud), Suzy Boyt (5 children: Ali, Rose Boyt, Isobel, and Susie Boyt), and Katherine Margaret McAdam (4 children: Paul, Lucy, David and Jane McAdam Freud who is also an artist).of 1968. In 1970 he marries Belgian photographer Martine Frank founder of the Viva photo agency.

1960 – Museum trip to France. Admires, notably, Grunewald’s Issenheim altarpiece in Colmar and Courbets in Fabre museum in Montpellier.

1961 – Trip to Greece with his children – fine watercolors.

1962 – Leaves Delamere Terrace which is slated for demolition. Moves to tiny room in Clarendon Crescent. Broke gambling daily. Frequents French Pub (York Minster), Colony Room and Wheeler’s restaurant in Soho the heart of artistic Bohemia. Visits Frans Hals museum in Haarlem.

1965 – Begins tackling nude painting in earnest. Demolition of Clarendon Crescent. Moves studio to Gloucester Terrace, Paddington (until 1972). Beginning of self portrait series,”Reflection”. Regular models were his children, Michael Andrews, photographer Harry Diamond, Bacon’s close friend the photographer John Deakin and Bacon’s lover George Dyer.

1967 – Visits great Ingres retrospective in Paris with Bacon.

1968 – Paints “Large Interior, Paddington”. The model is his young daughter Isobel Boyt.

1970 – Death of Ernst Ludwig Freud, Lucian’s father. His mother, devastated, attempts suicide. Freud decides to use her as a model.

1972 – Leaves his gallery Marlborough Fine Art for Anthony d’Offay. Moves to Thorngate Road, Maida Vale, W9 (until 1977).

1974 – First retrospective exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London.

1975 – Begins using Cremnitz white, a paint high in lead carbonate. By mixing it with other colors he obtains a heavy, stringy paint substance. Returns also to drawing. Paints portrait of Frank Auerbach.

1976 – “Human Clay” exhibition at the Hayward is organized by American expatriate painter Ronald Kitaj who groups together about 50 artists working in London under the label of “The School of London”. Among them are Freud, Bacon, Andrews, Auerbach, Kossof and Sutherland.

1977 – Freud moves to Holland Park into a spacious flat in a bourgeois district. Works as visiting tutor at Slade School where he meets the painter Celia Paul who will figure in several of his paintings.

1978 – Spends a short time in Rome where he meets the painter Balthus, then director of the villa Medici. Admiring at first, in the end finds Balthus’ work “too theatrical”.

1980 – Starts working in new studio in Notting Hill W11 (until 1998).

1982 – Stars etching again after an interruption of several decades. This is prompted by the publication of a deluxe edition of a monograph on him by Lauwrence Gowing with an original engraving in each of the 100 books.

1983 – In new studio completes one of his most celebrated pictures: “Large Interior W11 (After Watteau)” featuring Celia Paul, his daughter Bella Freud, his son Kai next o his mother Suzy Boyt and on the floor a friend’s daughter, Star.

1984 – Paints “The Two Irishmen”, a friend, an Ulster trader with his 19-year old son.

1986 – Shares Golden Lion award at Venice Biennale with Sigmar Polke.

1987 – “The Artist’s Eye: Lucian Freud” and exhibition at the National Gallery London in which Freud confronts his work with that of a selection of 25 works by the Old Masters. A retrospective exhibition at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington moves to the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Hayward and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. These are his first significant international shows.

1988 – “Lucian Freud, Works on Paper” shown at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and in Edinburgh, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Saint Louis.

1989 – Death of his mother, Lucie Freud. Moves to small house in Notting Hill, he will keep, however, the Holland Park studio until 2008. Takes on the young painter David Dawson as his assistant.

1990 – Meets the Australian performance artist Leigh Bowery. He will pose for Freud for up to 5 days a week over

two years.

1991 – Major retrospective exhibition travels to Rome, the Tate Gallery, London, Liverpool, Japan, and Australia.

1992 – Switches dealers again, now represented by New York dealer William Acquavella. Francis Bacon dies of heart attack in Madrid.

1993 – Awarded the Order of Merit. Uses the benefits supervisor and London Underground figure, Sue Tilley (“Big Sue”) as a model. Paints his self portrait in the nude, “Painter Working, Reflection”. “Early Works” exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Reina Sofia museum, Madrid.

1994 – Death of Leigh Bowery of AIDS.

1995 – Death of Michael Andrews.

1999 – Visits Ingres portrait exhibition at the National Gallery, London over 20 times.

2000 – Freud begins artistic dialogue with Old Masters, first Chardin’s “Young School Mistress” at a National Gallery exhibition, Cézanne’s “An Afternoon in Naples” which he buys, and Constable’s “Tree Trunk”.

2001 – Paints portrait of the Queen, Elisabeth II.

2002 – First Freud retrospective at Tate Britain attracts 200 000 visitors.

2004 – Exhibition of studio photographs by his assistant David Dawson at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

2006 – Death of his faithful whippet, Pluto.

2007 – Much impressed by Gustave Courbet retrospective which he visits both in London and Paris. His etchings

exhibited at MoMA, New York.

2008 – Record price for “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” which is sold for $34 million at Christie’s, New York.

 

 

 

 
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