PRAISE FOR LUCIAN FREUD
‘The original, unnerving, sustained artistic achievement of Lucian Freud … had at its heart a wilful, restless personality, fired by his intelligence and attentiveness and his suspicion of method, never wanting to risk doing the same thing twice.’ - The Guardian
‘He succeeds in doing what very few artists have ever done – to somehow suggest the many layers of contradictory experiences and impulses that go into the make-up of a flawed, human, and highly complex man.’
- Richard Dorment, Daily Telegraph
‘Stark and revealing … recast the art of portraiture and offered a new approach to figurative art.’
- The New York Times
‘His charisma was crucial to his method. It was what made his model bear happily the long ordeal of sitting for him, and therefore what offered Freud the opportunity to observe his subjects at length – picking up on every twitch of a facial muscle, every iteration of how a subcutaneous layer of thigh fat bulged through a sitter’s skin.’ - David Kemp, Vanity Fair
Two beautifully produced, cloth-bound hardcover volumes, presented in an elegant slipcase
"Stark and revealing... Recast the art of portraiture and offered a new approach to figurative art." - New York Times
"A massive, two-volume monograph... shin[es] a spotlight on his early work... [and] includes work from Freud's entire career."
"The original, unnerving, sustained artistic achievement of Lucian Freud... had at its heart a wilful, restless personality, fired by his intelligence and attentiveness and his suspicion of method, never wanting to risk doing the same thing twice." - The Guardian
"Hundreds of rarely seen works in two massive volumes... Excellent." - Departures
LIFE WITH LUCIAN
David Dawson was Lucian Freud’s assistant for twenty years and sat for eight paintings. An artist himself, he was set to move to New york when a meeting with the painter made him reassess his plans.
Q: Tell us about the first time you met Lucian Freud?
A: It was 1990 and I had just come out of college. I was working as an assistant to Lucian’s dealer, and he took me to his studio in Holland Park. We ran up the stairs where he was, with these piercing blue eyes. He had a lively aura about him and we got on immediately.
He always kept the doors closed, but one morning he asked me to come into his studio. At the time he was doing these big portraits of Leigh Bowery. These seven-foot tall paintings of this naked man stopped me in my tracks. It was just the most intense thing. I thought, there’s no one better painting like this. And I felt that I knew what he needed and how I could help him.
Q: How did he come to paint you for the first time?
A: I’d been working with him for about six years when he said, “I’ve got an idea for a big painting.” The brilliant thing about it being a big painting was that he had the canvas to the side, so I could watch him putting every brush mark down. He was agitated when painting. He’d jump around and come up close and stare at you. His level of concentration was intense. But when he came to the canvas he was incredibly gentle, very light on touch. He would work in a small area, say between your eyes, and he’d bring that up to a level of completion and then build out.
Q: What was the conversation like when he was painting?
A: There was a natural flow to it – incredibly intense and then some gossipy light chat. Then you’d go back into silence while he painted again. If he wanted to paint you, he wanted to know who you were. He’d ask you anything and everything and this helped in his painting. He believed in the individuality of everything.
Read more of this interview at phaidon.com/discoverfreud