David Shrigley’s installation for the fourth plinth at London’s Trafalgar Square goes on view today, a massive hand giving a comically extended thumbs up. “It is such an ambiguous thing which you can quite easily project your own meaning on to, it could endorse something I didn’t want to endorse,” Shrigley says. “My line is that it means whatever you want it to mean, but it doesn’t mean ‘that’.”
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Reflection, Lucian Freud, 1985 via Jaksview.wordpress.com
b. December 8, 1922 in Berlin, Germany
Central School of Art (briefly)
Cedric Morris’ East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham
Goldsmiths College – University of London
Lucian Freud is the grandson of Sigmund Freud. He began drawing profusely around the age of 10. Early paintings of Lucien Freud were influenced by surrealism, featuring people in strange compositions. For the rest of his career, he would focus on portraits, most of them nudes. Style would also develop from thin, flat paint to thick, less blended strokes.
Sleeping Head, Lucian Freud, 1979-80 via IMMA
Kate Moss, Lucian Freud, 2002 via Sydney Herald
Freud’s subjects are often the people in his life; friends, family, fellow painters, lovers, children. To quote the artist: “The subject matter is autobiographical, it’s all to do with hope and memory and sensuality and involvement, really.” He has painted Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach. His oeuvre also includes a controversial portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, various ex-wives, countless dogs, his assistant, and a pregnant Kate Moss.
Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, Lucian Freud, 1995 via Clusterflock.org
On the canvas, Freud tends to place the most emphasis on the sitter’s face or body – not shy about depicting bold postures or expressions. He is known for attaching additional pieces of canvas after the body is finished to accomodate it. Freud is also a notoriously slow painter, which has been said to cause his subjects chagrin.
Girl With a White Dog, Lucian Freud, 1951-52 via tendreams.org
He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1988 and 1989, awarded annually to a British artist under the age of 50 for outstanding work in the previous year. Freud’s retrospective at the Tate Museum in 2002 garnered much attention in the press and the general public – he is regarded as one of Britain’s most popular artists.
Now in his 80’s, Lucian Freud still dedicates himself to his chief obsession, art.