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,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.