new-york

Lucian Freud

Acquavella Galleries

LUCIAN FREUD DOESN'T BEAUTIFY FLESH, but he revels in it all the same. What in life might be distasteful becomes matter for specifically pictorial delectation. If the skin has a slightly sickly cast, that's all the better to explore the strange tints and undertones it can take on under certain conditions of light, for example in Naked Portrait with Green Chair, 1999. And if the body happens to be oppressively heavy or, more rarely, uncomfortably bony (as in the impressive Naked Portrait with Red Chair, 1999) what better occasion for lingering over its capacities as malleable sculptural form? Best of all is Freud's exploitation of facture: For instance, the passages of highest illumination tend to be the ones where the surface becomes most nubby or tacky. In Naked Portrait with Green Chair, it's as if the still-wet paint representing the areas around the woman's left knee and the inside of

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