Lucian Freud (1922 — 2011)

Lucian Freud, dis­tin­guished artist and grand­son of Sig­mund Freud, died yes­ter­day at the age of 88. The painter was best known for his con­tri­bu­tions to fig­u­ra­tive art and his uncom­pro­mis­ing por­traits, which The New York Times has col­lect­ed in an impres­sive online gallery.

Freud was also known for his rig­or­ous (some would say cru­el) demands on his sub­jects. From his New York Times obit­u­ary:

To the artist and Freud biog­ra­ph­er Lawrence Gow­ing [Lucian Freud] said, “For me the paint is the per­son.” Mr. Freud’s dingy stu­dio became his artis­tic uni­verse, a grim the­ater in which his con­tort­ed sub­jects, stripped bare and there­fore uniden­ti­fi­able by class, sub­mit­ted to the artist’s unblink­ing, mer­ci­less inspec­tion.

You can learn more about Lucian Freud’s work and lega­cy through a dis­cus­sion of his paint­ing Stand­ing by the Rags at SmART His­to­ry (video post­ed above or click here).

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

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