Known for his audacious and complex portraits, Lucian Freud marked his generation with works of gutsy realism. This month, Acquavella Galleries pays homage to the artist with an exhibit devoted to his lesser known drawing and etchings, many of which have never been shown before.
Freud’s works continued to evolve up until his death in 2011 at the age of 88. His fleshy piece Benefits Supervisor Sleeping broke records when it sold for $33.6 million to none other than Roman Abramovich in 2008, setting a new record for the highest price paid for a work by a (then) living artist. Acquavella, who was Freud’s exclusive representative for 19 years, has hosted no less than five exhibits devoted to the artist’s works and though Freud did not live to see the exhibition, he had spent years preparing for the show with his friend and owner of the gallery, William Acquavella. “We began the conversation for this exhibition several years ago,” Acquavella states, adding that “while Freud has been justifiably celebrated as the greatest figurative painter of his generation, his graphic work deserves no less acclaim.”
Said to have taken pride in his drawings, Freud himself selected works from his personal sketchbooks for the exhibit. Over 40 drawings and etchings are on display, spanning the artist’s career from childhood sketches through to the end of his life. William Feaver—the man behind the acclaimed Freud retrospectives at the Tate in London and the Museo Correr in Venice—also worked with Freud to curate the show and give much needed attention to the pieces that were often eclipsed by the artist’s other, more popular paintings.
Lucian Freud at Acquavella Galleries (May 1st through June 9th), 18 E. 79th Street, 212.734.6300