• Lucien Freud at the National Portrait Gallery

    by  • February 8, 2012 • 1 Comment

    Check out the latest must-see exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery. On show until 27 May 2012.

    The planing of the exhibition was well under way with the enthusiastic input of Lucien Freud (born 1922)  himself until his death in July 2011 at the age of 88.  He was literally painting until he dropped. His last, unfinished, picture  ’Portrait of the Hound 2011′ of his long-time assistant David Dawson posing nude alongside his dog Eli is included in the show.

    Other works range from an early self-portrait, ‘Man with a Feather,’ 1943, first picture, above, (Private Collection, copyright The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: Courtesy Lucian Freud Archive.) ‘Two Irishmen in W11,’ 1984-5, second picture, above (Private Collection, Ireland, copyright The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: Courtesy Lucian Freud Archive.)

    The ‘Girl with a White Dog,’ 1950-1 third picture, above (Tate: Purchased 1952, copyright Tate, London 2012) is of Freud’s first wife, Kitty Garman. The fourth picture, above, ‘The  Brigadier,’ 2003-4 (Private Collection, copyright The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: Courtesy Lucian Freud Archive) is of his friend and riding companion Andrew Parker Bowles.

    Next, is another self-portrait, ‘Reflection,’ 1985 (Private Collection, Ireland, copyright The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: Courtesy Lucian Freud Archive) painted when Freud was in his sixties, and particularly introspective. Finally, an early work, in 1947, ‘Girl in a Dark Jacket’ ( (Private Collection, copyright The Lucian Freud Archive. Photo: Courtesy Lucian Freud Archive) of his first wife Kitty, painted using fine sable brushes.

    As his work progressed it became bigger, bolder, more dramatic. He said: ‘What do I ask of a painting? I ask it to astonish, disturb, seduce, convince.’     Mary, Houses Editor

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    The joy of concrete

    by  • February 8, 2012 • 0 Comments

    We’re partial to a bit of concrete at Livingetc, but even we were wowed by the many beautiful ways it’s been used in architecture. Architectonic: Concrete Walls (1958-1980) is a temporary exhibition telling the story of concrete in buildings, running until 15 April at the Atomium in Brussels. It’s a great excuse for a spring city break, but if you can’t make it, click through and enjoy more designs. Sarah, chief sub-editor

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