Looking at books of reading and images of his work in the library.
There is an attentiveness to Freud’s work that I want to read about. He seems to study his subject with such even focus that the finished paintings are gripping edge to edge.
He deals with every part of the canvas with the same attention. There is no more detail in the eyes than there is the ears or the neck. It appears as if Freud has spent the same amount of time on every part of the figure.
Hughes, Robert, and Freud, Lucian. Lucian Freud Paintings. 1st Pbk. Ed. (rev.). ed. New York, N.Y.: Thames and Hudson, 1989. Pp.7-24
P.80 painting. Covers her face with her arm. Removing her face puts attention on the interactions between the dog and the woman and the sheet beneath them.
Lampert, Catherine., Freud, Lucian, and Whitechapel Art Gallery. Lucian Freud : Recent Work. London: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1993. Pp.11-26
Freud has taken his sitters out of the “privileges and burdens of traditional society with expectations attached to roles, relative wealth, age and decorum… The pressure is towards a perilous interpenetration of exteriority and interiority, physical form and feelings, couched in the illusionistic, classical framework of oil painting.” They make “some people transfer themselves, imaginatively, to the situation painted.” (p.11)
“I know my idea of portraiture came from dissatisfaction with portraits that resembled people. I would wish my portraits to be of the people, not like them… As far as I am concerned the paint is the person. I want it to work for me just as the flesh does.” (p.12)
Freud is concerned with all five senses, not just sight. Lampart says: “Freud was open to manipulating the compositions and limbs just because of the sensual presence of the models: ‘the effect that they make in space is bound up with them as might be their colour or smell.”(p.15) – phenomenological approach to painting.
Lampart discusses the painting Pregnant Girl 1960-61:
When looking at the painting, the viewer is “invited to have imaginary intimacy though denied a narrative reading of the relationship between sitter and artist.
^This is a really interesting idea and one that is very relevant to my work!
When this exhibition book (1993) was first published, Freud had recently been working with a process of making one “large painting simultaneously with several smaller ones”. This seems an interesting way to to work, for Freud this approach “intensified the pressure overall” of trying something more ambitious. (p.20)
“It is often the sitters who suggest how they wish to lie down or sit.” (p.21)
“Freud wants all his works to proceed as if inevitable… It is his custom to start painting the figure and occasionally to nearly finish before other areas of the canvas are even touched with paint, and then revise the whole.” < this could be an interesting way to work since the once the body is down it may be more clear how the surroundings interact with the body and which details should be put down.
“Final adjustments come often not to correct what makes us blush, but to draw a larger, more disturbing point from just this gaucheness.” (p.22)
“‘I believe in Valazquez’, says Lucian Freud, ‘more completely than any other artist whose work is alive for me. I understand Ortega y Gasset’s strange remark on first seeing Las Meninas: ‘This isn’t art, it’s life perpetuated’.” (p.26)