Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Skewbald Mare

It was only a matter of time: I'm writing my senior thesis on Lucian Freud, so his art is often on my mind. I think Frued's oeuvre is widely misunderstood. Critics tend to look only at his monumental nudes, and consequently, they ignore his capacity for tenderness. This painting of a skewbald mare Freud did in his early 80's reminds me of that Anri Sala video I posted way back in September.The sense of body, touch, and individuation is so compelling. I mean, it's a horse's backside, but it's also a portrait - he treats the horse with dignity, and she feels totally present in the picture and completely at ease in relation to her body. We can't imagine that she's posing - which is to say, we can't imagine anything forced or unnatural about her appearance. Instead, I'm aware of the way she inhabits her bodily space. This is all bound up in how Freud represents people as well, and I think understanding his pictures of animals is key to understanding his body of work.

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