Lucian Freud: Portraits @ National Portrait Gallery

9 February 2012

To the National Portrait Gallery to see ‘Lucian Freud: Portraits’, a big exhibition. I’ve never liked his art: seems to me typically English in its hatred of the body, its revelry in ugliness. Most of the nudes look like corpses, unhealthily mottled. Lacking the visionary intensity of Bacon, his unrelenting depiction of human squalor is the lowering product of a cold, repressed climate. That said, his self-portraits had a certain haunted quality, and it’s no accident the exhibition poster is a self-portrait. That and the fact the ASA wouldn’t have let them use any of the rooms full of stricken nudes prominently displaying their livid members or sullen breasts.

Lucian Freud: Portraits

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