David Dawson - Working with Lucian Freud (2003-11)

When British painter Lucian Freud died in July 2011, TIME’s art critic Richard Lacayo wrote that Freud “proved with a bang the continui...

When British painter Lucian Freud died in July 2011, TIME’s art critic Richard Lacayo wrote that Freud “proved with a bang the continuing vitality of the figurative tradition in art.” A prodigious realist painter, who many considered one of the greatest British artists of his generation, Freud began his career using sharp, tight lines. In the 1950s, he set aside his thin brushes for thicker, hog’s-bristle brushes that Lacayo wrote “pushed pigment across the canvas in rich, thick flourishes.”
Freud painted dozens of nudes and loved subjects with copious amounts of flesh. He took long periods to complete portraits and required his subjects to commit incredible amounts of time to the process. In 2007, the Telegraph chronicled Freud’s painting of art handler Rita Kirby, a process that took 16 months and required Kirby to pose for him seven nights a week on top of her day job.
A new exhibition at London’s Pallant House Gallery features photographs by David Dawson, who was Freud’s model and studio assistant for 20 years. The show features some of Freud’s key paintings alongside Dawson’s photographs of the artist at work in his studio. In addition to photographs of the painting process, Dawson captured intimate moments of Freud’s life, including the application of shaving cream with one of his large brushes and cuddling Kate Moss in bed.
What emerges is a portrait of an artist who took painstaking care to capture intimate details in his paintings where the point of completion was different for each one. “Freud’s criterion is that he feels he’s finished when he gets the impression he’s working on somebody else’s painting,” Martin Gayford wrote in the Telegraph in 2007. Freud often looked inward. His 2005 self-portrait—one of many he did in his lifetime—is one of his most recognized paintings. But perhaps the most complete portrait of Freud will emerge after his death in pictures from Dawson’s lens, instead of the artist’s brush.
David Dawson: Working with Lucian Freud is on view at the Pallant House Gallery through May 20. An exhibition of photographs by David Dawson will be available for sale at Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert through March 2.

Quelle: TIME LightBox, The Life of Lucian Freud

 Lucian with Fox Cub 
Lucian Shaving 
The Painter’s Feet 
Albie Sitting for his Grandfather 
 Eli in Front of Portrait of the Hound 

Grey Gelding 
Lucian Freud and Kate Moss in Bed
Working at Night
Mirror in Studio 
VIENNA.- From 9 October 2013 through 6 January 2014, the Sigmund Freud Museum, in cooperation with the Kunsthistorisches Museum, is showing photographs taken by David Dawson in the studio of Lucian Freud. The images document the surroundings in which Lucian Freud created his work, providing insight into his working methods and treating visitors to an intimate encounter with one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, who was also the grandson of Sigmund Freud. 

Today Lucian Freud numbers among the most widely recognized painters of the 20th century, and his work is exhibited around the world. For the first time in Austria, the Kunsthistorisches Museum is mounting an exhibition featuring a selection of the artist’s key works. In conjunction with this show, the Sigmund Freud Museum is showing photographs by David Dawson, his assistant over the course of many years. At many points the photographs on view at the Sigmund Freud Museum correspond with the works presented at the KHM. The photo show centers on images capturing Lucian Freud at work, in private situations and in confrontation with his own canvases in public settings.

The photo exhibition “Lucian Freud: In Private: Photographies by David Dawson” thematizes aspects of intimacy and inwardness in the workspace. More specifically, the photographs show Lucian Freud’s studio and artistic environment, concentrating on the relationship between the painter and his models. By delving into this relationship in images hung in the apartment of Lucian Freud’s grandfather Sigmund, the presentation explores similarities and differences to the situation encountered in the latter’s practice, developed here at Berggasse 19. A crucial distinction remains between the two narratives: the visual depiction of the painter contrasts with the spoken word of the psychoanalyst.


Lucian Freud

 Until his death in 2011, Lucian Michael Freud was widely considered to be one of the greatest living exponents of figurative painting. He was born on 8 December 1922 in Berlin as the second child of Lucie and Ernst Freud. His father, Sigmund Freud’s youngest son and the fourth of his sixth children, pursued a successful career as an architect in Berlin after completing his studies and marrying in Vienna. With the rise of National Socialism the family fled to London in 1933, where Ernst Freud experienced difficulties in establishing himself as an architect, this exerting a substantial influence on the development and shaping of Lucian’s artistic gift, which he already displayed in childhood. Sigmund Freud promoted his grandson’s artistic talent from an early age. Biographers describe the relationship between the artist and his grandfather as being close; film material documenting it can be seen at the Sigmund Freud Museum.

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