Sunday, April 1, 2012

Modern Art Research Paper

Modern Art Research Paper

Lucian Freud’s art collection of painted portraits and etchings is an impressive stratum of modern art. He is equally skilled and talented in both arts, and he proves it by creating series of portraits in both paint and etching.

What is really making his works stand out is Freud’s realistic representation of being and even exaggerating approach to reality. Faces and bodies with minor defects, flaws, tired looks, drooping skin, sitters mainly avoiding eye-contacting the artist.

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As the painting provides more freedom with color and tint, Lucian Freud’s palette is comparatively muted. Still, he manages to impress the audience by the naked truth of the human nature as it is now. He has made series of portraits of his relatives – his widowed mother, his wife, daughters. Obviously intimacy and attachment are important factors for creating realistic artworks for Freud.

This realistic approach to depicting the humans might have certainly been “hereditary”, so much as we know of his grandfather is that he was the one to see-through and get to the core of human souls. Lucian depicts his sitters in seemingly inconvenient poses, disturbingly close to the viewer, sometimes the pictures dominate. He also uses no background details, as if not to distract the viewer’s attention from the portrait itself, from the core of the message depicted on the canvas.

Let us now pay attention to the series of portraits etched and painted equally skillfully.

There is a temptation to compare Lucian Freud’s Reflection, the self-portrait, because both the etching and the painted portrait make great impression on the spectators. But it is truly a piece of art worth paying more rapt attention, so let us discuss Freud’s painted portrait of the New Yorker, and the etching of the same man, both works relatively recent, taking into consideration Lucien Freud’s art career of over 6 decades.

The New Yorker is a man in his 50s, modern-type, smart looking, good appearance. Freud uses composition techniques of attracting attention to the sitter – his face is 85% of the etching itself, the face tired, thoughtful, having the touch of modern life haste and problem-solving. The wrinkled face in deep shadows emphasizes the realistic approach to Freud’s portrait-making.

The same face can be found on “New Yorker in the blue shirt”, oil on canvas, also 2006.

One can not mistake – it’s the same man looking at us, just more distant, maybe even less aggressive, the colors bringing more softness to his features, but still no bright tints, all muted, except for maybe the shirt.

The realism of the portraits is both painting and etching is something I admire most with Lucian Freud. If there ever will be any other artist like that, I would praise the nature. Still, I believe he should be thankful to be born into this family, with such heritage, and such history. Lucian Freud has made his grandfather’s name even more famous. Freud achieved the reputation of the most renowned portrait painter of the 20th century and an equally accomplished print maker and he does deserve it.
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