remembering Lucian Freud

25 July 2011

Sigmund Freud’s grandson was considered, along with Bacon, one of the most prominent figures of the 20th century English painting. Both friends, both part of the vague “The School of London” group, both equally successful at Sotheby’s art sales and also (although not similarly) addicted to sex…. and some even say Lucian managed to father as many as 40 children…

Self-Portrait With A Black Eye sold at Sotheby's in London last year

A brutal but shy artist obsessed with flesh who just died last week after nearly 7 decades dedicated to face-painting… of famous and ordinary… “restoring portraiture to its proper place” as art critic William Feaver would say.

A Germanic Brit realistic Surrealistic who preferred oversized nudes with awkward poses to his own sitters and who despite being one of greatest realist painters of the post-war era he didn’t have that many solo exhibitions during his lifetime (last one @ Beaubourg in 2010).

Kate Moss asked him for a portrait....

But it seems like the National portrait gallery in London has just announced a major new exhibition of the seminal British painter for next February (9 February – 27 May 2012) bringing together over 100 of his greatest portraits (seems like it was in its final planning stages before the artist’s death), quite a good opportunity to revisit the eternal student.

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angelo mio @ Lazarew – Paris

9 June 2011
angelo mio

To stand out in the crowded graffiti world you have to be either a virtuous (mostly mastering and mixing all techniques), be an old legend, or place your doodles and tags on the most unconceivable places and walls. Patrick Baillet attempts to do all that by bringing his classical pieces to abandoned buildings & squats.

le cas ravagé

Artist & teacher Baillet has explored a little bit of everything to bring his art to life exploring several trends (hyperrealism, xerox-art…). And his latests photographic works capture many of these hidden classic-graffs on ” espaces palimpsestes”. Currently being exhibited at the central Parisian gallery Lazarew, the exhibition has been extended till the end of August.

l' entracte
cuisine jaune

rest of Patrick’s works on his website

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Soldiers at Rye

22 April 2011
Soldiers at Rye (1941) by Edward Burra

Burra is without any doubts one the UK’s watercolour masters, but at the same time one of those magnificent Brit painters often written out of the story of 20th-century art. Tate hasn’t done a a retrospective of his works since 1973 but a few of his best pieces like this carnivalesque representation of the war horrors can be seen at the current “Watercolour” exhibition @ Tate Britain (until August 21st).

We’re not that big fans of the exhibition as a whole (and won’t criticize it because we’re not here for that) but there are some amazing pieces from the colonial scientific exploration (Sydney Parkinson’s plant drawings…) or the XX century war coverage (the nasty but precise facial disfigurements) that you’re only able to see when Tate decides to pull them out of their drawers… and that’s once each 3 decades so….

Burra's The Snack Bar 1930

But going back to Mr Burra… the half surrealist – half modernist, half painter – half-costume designer deserves another retrospective @ Tate, because it’s been nearly 40 years since London really paid attention to his works, just before dying in 1976.

Burra's Dancing Skeletons 1934

He never found a place in the contemporary British art history, maybe because he travelled too far away? or because he flirted too much with the urban underground rather than contemplating the landscape? or simply… because he preferred watercolour to oil..?

In any case, while you can see many of his works on-line thanks to the wonders of technology & the courtesy of the Tate Collection, and while we wait for another dedicated exhibition @ Tate (it’s about time Mss Curtis….), maybe you should consider paying those 11£ for a bit of gum arabic + gouache + vellum surprises, and some of Burra’s best pieces.

Harlem 1934
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