london

Paula Rego, The Family, 1988, acrylic on canvas-backed paper, 84 × 84". From “All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life.”

“All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life”

Tate Britain

“John Minton committed suicide because ‘Matisse and Picasso had done everything there’s to be done in art.’ Unfortunately he had not heard of me,” boasted Indian artist F. N. Souza. At Tate Britain, curators Elena Crippa and Laura Castagnini corroborated Souza’s point—sort of. Spanning more than a hundred years, and featuring slightly fewer than a hundred paintings, their exhibition proclaimed the so-called School of London to be the natural heir to the figurative legacy of the “School of Paris.” Although Souza himself was not presented as London’s answer to Picasso—the show’s title made amply clear that Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud were neck and neck for that slot—he did have an entire room to himself. There we met Souza’s celebrated Black Nude, 1961, whose rictus grin recalls that of Kali, the dark-hued Hindu goddess of death, and his sad-eyed Negro in Mourning, 1957,

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