In our world of the knowledge explosion and burgeoning information far beyond the capacity of any ordinary mortal to keep up on more than a sliver, a small portion, of it all, I was not surprised when yet another artist--unknown to me--was given a TV bio-pic1 last night. Lucian Freud, now 89, has been at the game of life more than two decades than I. He has gained a pre-eminence among British artists, a celebrity status, far beyond anything I will achieve even if I live to be a centenarian.–Ron Price with thanks to SBS2 TV, 3 February 2011, 8:30 to 9:50 pm.
You had your first solo exhibition
the year I was born, Lucian, and
you travelled to Paris the year I
travelled to Burlington and the
same year as the opening of the
2nd Seven Year Plan: 1946-1953.
You were championed in and
contributed to Patrick Swift’s
X magazine which ran from ‘59
to ’62 just as I was entering the
Baha’i Faith and beginning my
pioneer-life for the Canadian
Baha’i community in Ontario.
In my years of association with
this new world religion all the
way back to the fifties you have
been painting nudes to almost
the complete exclusion of all-else.
Your subject matter, Lucian, is
autobiographical and so is all my
writing. “It’s all to do with hope,
memory, sensuality, involvement,”
you once said—and I would add
much more. The 4000 hours you
spent on a series of paintings of
your mother are equalled by the
same number of hours on Baha’i
history. I like to think, Lucian…
that I too have had an omnivorous
gaze but it translates my world into
words not portraits. My tendency to
socialize and play the raconteur is
limited now by my bipolar disorder
and I trust your tendency to father
children is also limited now as well.(1)
(1) Simon Edge, “LUCIAN FREUD THE LOTHARIO,” in Express.co.uk, Friday May 16, 2008. Freud is reputed to have fathered some 40 children.
4 February 2011