Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Robert Hughes Review of Freud

I can never get enough of Robert Hughes reviews.

Freud is not my favorite artist- but his paint handling makes me a bit jealous. Look at the luscious paint handling of his "Piebald Mare" 2004 below

I have been very busy with my lastest insane project- a very large nude. My current model is spectacular- a six footer with bright red hair and tattoos.

Here is a snippet which explains among other things- the power and importance of painting from life.

"But there Freud is, where he ought to be: a genuine national treasure, briefly ensconced in one of England's (and the world's) supreme collections. There are logistical problems - the little gallery is hardly more than a lobby between two much larger ones, so that the Wallace, unused to crowd control, has had to limit the number of visitors to 50 in the room at a time; how that will work out, we have yet to see.
Things weren't always like that. Plenty of people, and not old ones either, can remember a time when people certainly didn't get in line to see such work, when Freud, instead of being placed alongside Edward Hopper in the pantheon of modern painting, was seen (if glimpsed at all) as a mere afterthought to the world triumph of American abstract art. Many art-folk in the 1960s and 70s would have thought him "less interesting" than Andy Warhol (no doubt some still do, but they are fools). What one sees in this show, and takes away from it, is a triumphant vindication of painting's rights of claim. The way Freud perceives a form and builds it up from oily mud on a piece of cloth; the way he constructs analysed equivalents to reality - all that, at best, is inspiring. It represents an order of experience totally different from the relatively weightless coming-into-sight of a photographic image or a silkscreen.
This is not a claim for moral superiority. But it does seem, at least to me, to indicate where traditional painting of the kind Freud does shows its perceptual superiority over photo-derived art. Every inch of the surface has to be won, must be argued through, bears the traces of curiosity and inquisition - above all, takes nothing for granted and demands active engagement from the viewer as its right. Nothing of this kind happens with Warhol, or Gilbert and George, or any of the other image-scavengers and recyclers who infest the wretchedly stylish woods of an already decayed, pulped-out postmodernism."

Piebald Mare 2004

No comments: