The Lucian Freud: New Perspectives exhibition at the National Gallery in London is a collection of paintings, and drawings, by the artist Lucian Freud. The exhibition includes works from throughout Freud’s career, ranging from his early portraits of family and friends to his later, more experimental nudes. Many of the works on display have never been seen before in public, making this a rare opportunity to see some of Lucian Freud’s paintings. The exhibition provides new insights into Freud’s process and development as an artist, making it a must-see for any fan of his work.
Lucian Freud’s paintings (1922-2011) offer an unflinching portrayal of the human condition. Painted with thick layers of oil paint, often using a palette knife, his works are both highly textured and intensely personal. His subjects range from family members and friends to strangers met on the street, all of whom he treated with the same frankness regardless of their social status. While his work was sometimes controversial, it has also been praised for its honest depiction of human emotions and behaviours. This exhibition at the National Gallery in London brings together over 60 of Freud’s works, providing a comprehensive overview of his career.
Lucian Freud’s paintings process was one of great intentionality and deliberateness. He would often work on a painting for months, or even years until he felt it was just right. This level of commitment is evident in his paintings’ extreme detail and complex technique. For example, in “Girl with a Kitten” (1947-48), Freud used at least seven different types of brushstrokes to create the fur of the kitten alone. It’s this kind of exceptionalism that made Lucian Freud one of the most celebrated artists of his generation.
The exhibition was extremely well received by both critics and the public. It was praised for its fresh perspective on Freud’s work, as well as the way it brought together paintings from different periods of his career. Many visitors said they had never seen Freud’s work displayed in such a way before, and that it gave them a new appreciation for his paintings. The show was also praised for its excellent installation and use of lighting, which made the paintings look even more alive and vibrant.