In our world of the knowledge explosion and burgeoning information far beyond the capacity of any ordinary mortal to keep up on more than a sliver, a small portion, of it all, I am no longer surprised when yet another artist or academic, celebrity figure or other person of significance--unknown to me--is given a TV bio-pic.(1) Lucian Freud, now 88, has been at the game of life more than two decades than I. He gained a pre-eminence among British artists, a celebrity status, far beyond anything I will achieve even if I live to be a centenarian.
Jurgen Habermas achieved a celebrity status in the field of sociology, but people with little knowledge of sociology will not know of this intellectual giant. One also needs to know more than a little about the field of history to be familiar with Peter Gay, and I could go on and on through the fields of knowledge to mention names with which only those who are connoisseurs or scholars in those fields are familiar.–Ron Price with thanks to (1) SBS2 TV, 3 February 2011, 8:30 to 9:50 pm. and updated on hearing of Freud’s death yesterday---22 July 2011.
You had your first solo exhibition
the year I was born, Lucian, and
you travelled to Paris the year I
travelled to Burlington and the
same year as the opening of the
2nd Seven Year Plan: 1946-1953.(1)
You were championed in and
contributed to Patrick Swift’s
X magazine which ran from ‘59
to ’62 just as I was entering the
Baha’i Faith and beginning my
pioneer-life for the Canadian
Baha’i community in Ontario.
In my years of association with
this new world religion all the
way back to the fifties you have
been painting nudes to almost
the complete exclusion of all-else.
Your subject matter, Lucian, is
autobiographical and so is all my
writing. “It’s all to do with hope,
memory, sensuality, involvement,”
you once said—and I would add
much more. The 4000 hours you
spent on a series of paintings of
your mother are equalled by the
same number of hours on Baha’i
history. I like to think, Lucian…
that I too have had an omnivorous
gaze but it translates my world into
words not portraits. My tendency to
socialize and play the raconteur is
limited now by my bipolar disorder
and I trust your tendency to father
children is also limited now as well.(2)
1 The second Baha’i Plan, 1946-1953, one of a series of plans running well into the 21st century, if not beyond into later centuries, for the extension and consolidation of this new world religion on the planet.
2 Simon Edge, “LUCIAN FREUD THE LOTHARIO,” in Express.co.uk, Friday May 16, 2008. Freud is reputed to have fathered some 40 children.
4 February 2011
-------------------AN UPDATE-----A QUASI-EULOGY-------------------
The Los Angeles Times in their obits
said you got better, more youthful &
more ambitious as you got older: I’ll
have some of that Lucian. Indeed, they
said you were a young elder statesman.
By the late '50s you had embarked on
what became your very-signature style
of textured nude paintings….and I had
embarked on what would become my
signature meaning system, too, in life.(1)
It is said you were a fine painter with a
very narrow repertoire: that could be said
of me and my literary portfolio, Lucian.
For you “the paint was the person.” For(2)
me the words only go so far; the person
remains an enigma. I thank you, Lucian
and wish you well in Shakespeare’s land:
that undiscovered country he called death.
1 The Baha’i Faith
2 In company he was exciting, humble, warm and witty," his art dealer, Acquavella, said in a statement. "He lived to paint and painted until the day he died, far removed from the noise of the art world." L.A. Times, 22 July 2011. I trust this will be true for me and my writing.
23 July 2011