Dylan O’Neill explains why you should see the Freud Project in the IMMA.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is hosting fifty works by the famous painter, Lucian Freud, in an exhibition until the 20th October. The exhibition is being housed in the Garden Galleries of the museum.
Freud made his fame from his ability to capture the human form in his paintings, along with key themes such as still-life, animal and nature, that showed his interest in the natural world. Among the several paintings on display, the exhibition documents the artist’s works from his early work of Painter’s Mother Resting 1, which Freud painted after his father’s death, when his mother suffered from depression in 1975.
From 1985, the exhibition takes you through Freud’s interests in the social and natural world with his paintings on the intertwining human and animal limbs in Double Portrait. A portrait that features a female sitter and her dog, this was the first time that Freud had showcased an animal and would develop into a key interest of Freud’s work. He would later go on to finish Triple Portrait.
A portrait that features a female sitter and her dog, this was the first time that Freud had showcased an animal and would develop into a key interest of Freud’s work.
During the late 80s and early 90s, Freud developed his signature style of human portraits, beginning with his sisters Belle and Esther, who would be regular sitters for the artist. The two would pose in awkward and askew ways for Freud, reclining on a chesterfield sofa. Freud, however, managed to make his work appear with a sense of ease and relaxation on the finished canvas. In 1998, he completed a portrait of The Pearce Family, a painting of Rose Boyt, Freud’s daughter, and her husband, Mark Pearce.
As the exhibition progresses to the first floor, we see Freud’s work with flourish into his works about his immediate surroundings. Landscape with Bat included the artist’s garden in London. It is here that we also see Freud’s interest in psychological relationships between his sitters. Man in a Check Cap, which he completed in 1991, featured Mick Tobin, a retired boxer, who Freud met by Covent Garden underground while selling newspapers.
The highlight of the exhibition is located in the 3rd room of the first floor. Here we see the artist’s works with naked models. The unfinished Naked Portrait details the technical stylings of Freud’s work. From these works, the viewer can see Freud’s use of a variety of heavy and light pigments and his intense detail that went into the finished portraits on show in the rest of the museum.
The Freud Project is a must see for anyone with an interest in art history or just looking for a causal way to spend the day. Admission is free for full-time students.