This video allegedly records Lucian Freud’s last day of painting: July 3, 2011, roughly two weeks before he died at age 88. The film was recorded by David Dawson, Freud’s assistant of 20 years, and it begins with the artist getting dressed for work. We are in Freud’s home, which is very quiet, with lots of paintings on the walls, and filled with a subtle, natural light. He was particular about painting under a northern light, which he once described as “cold and clear and constant.”
In the studio, we look up at Freud from Dawson’s perspective, who sits, along with Freud’s serenely sleeping dog, Pluto, for the artist’s final (unfinished) painting. We know from the painting that Dawson is lying back on a white cloth, naked with his legs splayed. As Freud asks him to adjust his knee ever so slightly, we imagine Dawson has taken the same position for several months — Freud, who worked slowly, was firm on that point.
According to Martin Gayford, Freud started painting seated, but once he began to work standing he found it “liberating.” In the video, Freud sports an elegant scarf, worn just for painting. A piece of cloth, caked with paint, covers his pants. He dips his brush in the paint on his palette and holds it up to Dawson’s skin to see if the colors match. Freud traces his brush over his sitter’s body before making his marks on the canvas in quick succession. In regard to his canvas, Freud once said, “I like it to be very firm because if my brush pushes the canvas in, I feel it spoils my sense that I’m painting something real. I think, ‘Oh no! I’m only painting a picture.’”
As much as I appreciate the collective’s culture jamming initiatives, I don’t know that their putative premise ever bears meaningful fruit.
The banana’s dominance and ubiquity has had serious and far-reaching implications for the region, engendering exploitative labor systems, climate change, and migration.
The first lecture is on the relationship between early portrait photography and diverse notions of US identity during the Gilded Age. Register to attend on January 25.
Charles Dellheim’s study tells the tale of a small group of Jewish art dealers and collectors who played a key role in the changing art world of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The 18-month fellowship aims to provide artists with “as much access as possible” to the club’s facilities and networks “at a time and place convenient to artists.”
Part of the university’s Artists on the Future series pairing renowned artists with cultural thought leaders, this online event is free and open to the public.
A coalition of investors raised funds to purchase the film’s storyboard and announced they would “make the book public.”
A new project, “Emoji to Scale,” orders every mini-object by their real-world dimensions.
Although Khedoori does not depict living beings, their presence is evoked in the traces they leave behind.
The Bronx Museum’s fifth biennial continues to focus its programming on individual identity, eliding the ever-divergent interests of the art market and local communities.
While it may be strange to think of food insecurity as a basis for art, the works in Food Justice reveal barriers and injustices in food access.