Saturday, July 23, 2011
Lucian Freud's Death
I first became aware of Lucian Freud's work when I was in High School. I used to haunt the Art Library in the basement of The Wilbur Cross Library at The University of Connecticut. My school, E.O.Smith, was located on the University Campus. They had a few catalogues from Freud's very infrequent shows, and there were a few European art books that displayed some pitiful reproductions of his pitiless portraits. I took courage from the awkward beginnings of his art. I figured that if Lucian could become such a superb draughtsman, lacking as he did any "natural talent," then so could I. Much as I love his late work, when I heard that he died I thought immediately of those early paintings and drawings.
One of the first paintings I ever saw of his, in the flesh as it were, was in a group show at Xavier Fourcade Gallery in tribute to Willem De Kooning on his eightieth birthday. The painting was Naked Man With His Friend. I always felt a connection between their work, De Kooning's and Freud's. Lucian was another exile, like Bill. The paintings I'm showing here are all from the War Years. You can almost hear the bombs dropping, as you could in London at the time only after they'd already hit (that's how you knew you were still alive,) even now long after they fell.