cover image Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud

Rizzoli, Catherine Lampert. Rizzoli International Publications, $60 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1775-7

British figurative painter Lucian Freud's jolting, unsparingly candid portraits bear superficial resemblances to photorealism or to Francis Bacon's distortions, yet his people, at once vulnerable and potent, inhabit a world all their own. Born in Berlin in 1922, the artist (grandson of Sigmund Freud) moved in 1933 to England with his parents, who feared Hitler's growing power. The young girls in Freud's 1940s canvases are alarmingly aware. His subjects of the last few years--nude or clothed, epic or small-scale--invite the viewer to partake of an imaginary emotional intimacy that makes one complicit in the artist's extended dialogue with the sitter. This catalogue of an exhibit which opened in London and soon travels to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art focuses on Freud's recent portraits, most of them never before reproduced. Lampert directs the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. (Feb.)