Lucian Freud, today aged 88, is among the world’s most important living artists. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris presents an exceptional overview of his masterpieces and pays tribute to one of the greatest contemporary painters.
Showing a selection of approx. 50 large-format paintings, as well as graphic works and photographs from various collections, the book focuses thematically on the artist’s studio and explores its role in his art, whose uniqueness lies in his meticulous and almost obsessive treatment of the portrait and the nude. I want the painting to be flesh. The intimacy of Freud&;s work is mirrored by his studio, and various elements integral to his pieces seem to derive from the context in which they were created. The studio is a metaphor of painting: it provides a space for the one-on-one between painter and model and offers a frame for the process: the tangible subjects, the artist and the artistic product. The catalogue shows, in full-page illustrations, Freud’s large interiors, his nudes and variations on portraits by former masters, as well as his series of self-portraits and recent, rather imposing portraits of Leigh Bowery and Big Sue, masterpieces in their own right.