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A Painter's Progress : A Portrait of Lucian Freud
by David Dawson


Overview - For nearly twenty years David Dawson was Lucian Freud s assistant, companion, and model. Freud moved in rarefied, powerful circles and was tenacious about protecting his privacy. He also carefully avoided distraction. With few exceptions, he wanted only those he knew well, like the late Bruce Bernard, to photograph him.  Read more...

 
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More About A Painter's Progress by David Dawson
 
 
 
Overview
For nearly twenty years David Dawson was Lucian Freud s assistant, companion, and model. Freud moved in rarefied, powerful circles and was tenacious about protecting his privacy. He also carefully avoided distraction. With few exceptions, he wanted only those he knew well, like the late Bruce Bernard, to photograph him. David Dawson, however, was in a unique position, and as Freud became comfortable in the presence of Dawson s camera, photographing became part of the daily ritual of the studio. These photographs reveal in a most intimate way the subjects and the stages of paintings in progress. Few artists, if any, have had their lives and their work recorded over such a length of time.
Despite Freud s sense of privacy, his circle was wide. Among those who regularly visited Freud were figures from the art world, including art historian John Richardson, and painters David Hockney, and Frank Auerbach, along with model Kate Moss and friends such as the Duke of Beaufort. The book begins in Freud s old studio in Holland Park and then records the artist in his eighteenth-century house in Kensington, the first floor of which was his final studio. Dawson also photographed Freud on his visits to look at masterpieces in various museums in New York, Amsterdam and Madrid. The book ends with views of the rooms in which Freud s own extraordinary collection of paintings was hung. It is the only record of the house itself before the dispersal of the art on his death, but ultimately, the photographs create an intimate portrait of the man. The final images in this book are of the hanging of Freud s work in his posthumous London exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Haunting and fascinating, this is a revelatory document about one of our most important and influential painters."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780385354080
  • ISBN-10: 0385354088
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: October 2014
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 11.9 x 12.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.95 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Art > Individual Artists - General
Books > Art > Techniques - Oil Painting
Books > Art > Subjects & Themes - Human Figure

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-10-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

Dawson, who devoted 20 years to Freud—one of the foremost British painters of the 20th century—as assistant, companion, and model, is himself an artist, and in this mesmerizing photography book, his work provides an intimate portrait of Freud’s daily life from the late 1990s through his death in 2011. Photographs of models with their portraits show Freud’s idiosyncratic, distorting vision, the antithesis of flattery, which subtly contrasted with the more lyrical treatment of his garden. The studio itself appears as an eccentric, mysterious, private stage set, with piles of dirty white rags against walls thickened with masses of paint smears scraped from Freud’s palette, the artist’s penciled reminders to himself, and a backdrop for the iron bed on which many of his models spread themselves. Dawson documents Freud encountering the world, socializing and viewing art, as well as the art in his home. The final group of photos shows the hanging of Freud’s 2012 posthumous retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery; the juxtaposition of workers and portraits imbues both with intensified irony, emotion, and vibrant life, exposing the full visceral power of Freud’s work and Dawson’s tenderness, wit, and skill in portraying it. (Oct.)

 
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