One of the foremost figurative artists working today, Lucian Freud (British, born Germany 1922) has redefined portraiture and the nude through his unblinking scrutiny of the human form. Although best known as a painter, etching has become integral to his practice. This exhibition will present the full scope of Freud's achievements in etching, including some seventy-five examples ranging from rare, early experiments in the 1940s to the increasingly large and complex compositions created since his rediscovery of the medium in the early 1980s. In a dramatic and unusual cross-media installation, it will also include a selection of related paintings and drawings, illuminating the crucial, cross-pollinating relationship between Freud's etchings and paintings. Freud is not a traditional printmaker. He treats the etching plate like a canvas, standing the copper upright on an easel. He typically depicts the same sitters in etching as in painting, always working directly from his models and demarcating their forms through meticulous networks of finely etched lines. But with their figures dramatically cropped or isolated against empty backgrounds, Freud's etchings achieve a startling new sense of psychological tension and formal abstraction. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Organized by Starr Figura, Assistant Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books.
The exhibition is supported in part by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.
In conjunction with the exhibition Lucian Freud: The Painter's Etchings, Robert Hughes, award-winning art critic, author, and historian, presents a lecture on the work of Lucian Freud. Hughes is the author of Shock of the New (also a TV series) and Culture of Complaint, which became nationwide catch phrases. Other books include The Art of Australia, Heaven and Hell in Western Art, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Nothing If Not Critical, A Jerk on One End: Reflections of a Mediocre Fisherman, GOYA, and Things I Didnt Know, the first volume of his memoirs. TV documentaries include Australia: Beyond the Fatal Shore and Goya. Since 1970 Mr. Hughes has lived and worked in the United States, where until 2001 he was chief art critic for Time magazine, to which he still contributes. He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes for his work.
Lecturer Jennifer M. Katanic (PhD candidate, the Graduate Center, City University of New York) is a specialist in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European art, with an emphasis on Slavic studies. She has taught at Rutgers University and City College and is a lecturer at MoMA.
Lucian Freud Portrayed: An Evening with William Feaver
This evening's in-depth exploration of Lucian Freud's work begins with a lecture by art critic, curator, and Freud biographer William Feaver. Then a screening of Lucian Freud: Portraits, a film directed by Jake Auerbach, provides perspectives on the artist through the eyes of his sitters, from the late Duke of Devonshire to David Hockney. Afterward, Feaver signs copies of his latest monograph, Lucian Freud.
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