Lucian Freud Etchings From The Painewebber Art Collection

June 7 - August 13, 2000
Contact: Hilarie Faberman, Robert M. and Ruth L. Halperin Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, 650-725-3499; or Jill Osaka, Public Relations Manager, 650-725-4657.

STANFORD, CA MAY 2000—One of the great contemporary realist painters working today, the British artist Lucian Freud (b. 1922) has also achieved comparable stature as a printmaker. Although Freud starting making etchings in the 1940s, he gave up the medium for about thirty years. In the early 1980s, when Freud was asked to create a print for a deluxe edition of a book about himself, he began to resume his work in the medium. Since that time, Freud has made over forty etchings that are as powerful and intense as his equally famous paintings.

The exhibition, organized by the Yale Center for British Art, is made possible by PaineWebber Group Inc. Since Freud's re-engagement with etching, PaineWebber has recognized the importance of his prints and has collected them assiduously. The etchings in this exhibition are a nearly comprehensive representation of his work as a printmaker from his small portrait heads in the 1980s until the present. Included in the exhibition are powerful recent prints such as Woman with an Arm Tattoo and Self Portrait: Reflection, both of 1996.

Starting in the 1980s with small etchings of portrait heads, Freud has moved to larger-scale etchings of various subjects including the full-length nude. His directness, unforgiving gaze, and fluency of handling endow these prints with a rawness and emotion that make them some of the most expressionistic images of the late 20th century. Through skeins and webs of lines, Freud conveys both the weight and malleability of flesh. His approach to his sitters—many of whom are friends or family—is intimate, yet impenetrable, with no hint of theatricality or rhetorical flourish.

Presentation of this exhibition at Stanford is supported by the Halperin Exhibitions Fund and the Cantor Arts Center Membership.