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Artist Lucian Freud Dies at Age 88

Lucian Freud, grandson of Sigmund, dies in London at the age of 88
By: Sarah Bauder
Published: July 22nd, 2011 in Culture » Art » News
Lucian Freud

British painter and icon of the art world, Lucian Freud, passed away at his home in London it was announced.

“My family and I mourn Lucian Freud not only as one of the great painters of the 20th century but also as a very dear friend,” the dealer said in a statement. As the foremost figurative artist of his generation he imbued both portraiture and landscape with profound insight, drama and energy. In company he was exciting, humble, warm and witty. He lived to paint and painted until the day he died, far removed from the noise of the art world,” said Freud’s longtime art dealer William Acquavella in a statement.

Freud, the grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, was born December 8, 1922 in Berlin. In 1933, the affluent family fled Germany for London to escape the rise of Nazism. Lucian Freud became a British citizen in 1939.

After attending string of various art colleges, and a brief foray with the merchant marines, Freud turned to art wholly and completely. By the mid-1950’s, he was using the heavy brush and thick paint technique in his portraiture, that was considered groundbreaking.

“As far as I am concerned the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as flesh does,” Freud had once said of his own work.

“The vitality of [Freud’s] nudes, the intensity of the still life paintings and the presence of his portraits of family and friends guarantee Lucian Freud a unique place in the pantheon of late 20th Century art. His early paintings redefined British art and his later works stand comparison with the great figurative painters of any period,” said Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Gallery in London.

Despite critical acclaim elsewhere, Freud’s art was not appreciated and remained out of fashion in America for decades. However, in 1987 Hirshhorn Museum in Washington presented an exhibition of his work. By 1993, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York had jumped on the “Freud Bandwagon”, doing a retrospective of his work.

Related articles: Lucian Freud, Sigmund Freud, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, London, Artist
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