Though Sigmund Freud has largely been discredited today, in an age when there is a pill for every human malady, Lucien Freud's work makes a very valid statement in its almost frightening, painterly realism. Lucien Freud was born in 1922 and along with British artists such as Francis Bacon (no relation to sir Francis), Leon Kossoff, and Frank Auerbach, rose from obscurity to pick up the pieces of English art in the aftermath of destruction following WW II. Early in his career he painted landscapes and still lifes, usually in a tight, surreal manner until the mid-1660s when he discovered the nude figure. There has never been a strong tradition of nude figures in British art. And Freud's nudes would have been out of step with it in any case. His female figures are not "pretty." In fact the term "nude" is too pretty to describe them. They are unabashedly naked and certainly not attractive in the traditional context of French, Spanish, or Italian painting.
|Standing by the Rags, 1988-89, Lucien Freud|