Hold still

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This February, Luxembourg & Dayan London, highlights Lucien Freud’s unique creative vision by exhibiting two key nude portraits by the late artist.

If there is one thing Lucien Freud is known for, aside from his burning temper, is the energy with which he infused his paintings and that is exactly what the exhibition, A Not So Still Life, seeks to exemplify.

Showing two of his large, late paintings, Naked Portrait in a Red Chair (1999) and David and Eli (2003–4), the pieces depict an unnamed woman, and Freud’s close friend David Dawson with his whippet Eli.

Adding another dimension to the exhibition however, is the juxtaposition of Freud’s work with those of other artists including Duchamp’s 1951 sculpture Feuille de Vigne Femelle, Beckmann’s 1930 painting Hunde, and Dix’s portrait Bildnis Jankel Adler, allowing the viewer to contrast themes and motifs in his work and giving an insight into a unique dialogue between the famed artist and his 20th century contemporaries.

Ultimately the content of the exhibition highlights just how unique Freud’s vision really was until the end, thanks to an ability to depict life that, even in repose, was anything but still.

by Bonnie Friend

The show at Luxembourg & Dayan London is on from February 7 until April 5, 2014.