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Lucian Freud at the Pompidou Center of Paris

Now through July 19, 2010

Lucian Freud, Reflection with two Children (Self Portrait), 1965 copyright : © Musée Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

The grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Lucian’s artistic theory is famed in its own right. Without a hint of repression (hardly, as he is rumored to have fathered dozens of children), Lucian’s work borders on the obsessed – obsessed with portraits, nudes, with models and their relationship to objects, even the rags that share his powerfully rendered canvases.

Which is why more than twenty years after the last French retrospective dedicated to this intensely private artist, the Pompidou Center is presenting a major exhibit of his works. Widely acknowledged as one of most important British artists of his generation, this show will include approximately 70 paintings and graphic art pieces.

Subtitled Atelier (Workshop), it includes a collection of drawings and photographs taken at his London studio. The exhibit is divided into four themed rooms – Interior/Exterior (workshop interiors/countryside and townscapes), Reflection (self portraits), Reprisals (Freud’s re-interpretations of the Masters) and As Flesh (portraiture). A show of this magnitude stands as an incredible tribute to the diversity of his skill.

The price paid for one of his works is a testament to the emotion of his canvases. Back in 1995, the portrait “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” was sold at auction for $33.6 million, setting a world record at that time for sale value by a living artist. Of course, like many artists, Lucian Freud has not been without controversy. His 2001 painting of Queen Elizabeth depicted her with indelicate features, a severe expression and his signature naturalism. It was described as thought provoking and brave by some but simply unflattering by others.

His grandfather helped unraveled the subconscious. Lucien’s work puts it back together. This is juxtaposition – in art and in life – at its finest.

How to get to the Museum: Subway Stations – Chatelet – Hotel de Ville – Rambuteau
Museum Hours: Everyday from 11 am  until 10 pm  (Closed Tuesdays)

For priority Museum admission without waiting in lines the Paris Museum Pass gives access to 60 museums and historic places in and around Paris.

This video is from his MOMA art exhibit.