Monday, July 23, 2012

Lucian Freud at the Modern

I should have blogged about this three weeks ago, but the Lucian Freud exhibit opened at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth on the first of July.  That was a Sunday, so, after church, I took the wife and the two kids down to have a look at it.  It was an amazing exhibit, and yes, Naked Man With Rat was part of the collection.  It was a little surreal, looking at the original painting 25 or so years after emulating that pose in a drawing class.  It is a haunting piece, which is why it has remained in my mind for so many years.  But it was just one of many amazing pieces in the collection.  Here are just a few examples from the exhibit:

Needless to say, Jen and I enjoyed the exhibit a lot more than our boys did.  Seth, our 12-year-old, was uncomfortable and ready to go after about ten minutes.  He has developed an aversion to nudity over the past couple of years, and I'm sure he is not at all pleased that his father is a part-time nude model.  Elijah, our 9-year-old, is developing a taste for the arts, and seemed curious at the whole art museum concept.

I don't consider myself a huge fan of contemporary art unless it is art that deals with the figure, so I was really excited to see that this Lucian Freud exhibit was making a stop in Fort Worth.  And luckily for all of us here in North Texas, this is its only scheduled exhibition in the United States.  I think what I love most about Freud's paintings is their honesty.  His figures are not idealized; they are not glossed over or censored.  You see all of each body's perceived imperfections.  Genitals, when visible, are depicted in the paintings just as you would see them if you were looking at the model yourself.  And yet, all of those imperfections and brutal honesty demonstrate how wonderful each body is, in its own way.

The exhibit runs through October 28th, and you can bet that I will be going through it at least one more time. In fact, the Modern is running an 8 week painting class in conjunction with the exhibit, called "The Muse," and I'm hoping that I'll get to be one of their models...

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