Directed by David Bickerstaff (UK, 2020, 80 min.). Digital.
This new documentary explores the intensely compelling self-portraits of Lucian Freud that were brought together for the first time in 2019 for an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. From his earliest one, painted in 1939, to the final one executed 64 years later, Freud’s self-portraits give a fascinating insight into the artist’s psyche and his development as a painter. When seen together, the self-portraits represent an engrossing study on the dynamic of aging and the process of self-representation.
This film looks closely at more than 50 paintings, prints, and drawings by the modern master of British art in which he turned his unflinching eye firmly on himself. It also takes viewers inside Freud’s studio, offering a unique look at the man and the methods behind the work.
“The journey we take with these films sometimes offers great access to the workings of an artist’s mind, and a visit to Lucian Freud’s studio was one of those revealing moments. It is everything you think an artist studio should be. Brushes and paint adorn every surface. The smell of oil and turpentine fills the air as easels stand ready for art to be made. Freud’s presence fills the room. His mark is splattered across the walls, rising out of piles of cloth that are left used and abandoned. Beautiful light shifts from the daylight studio to the night studio and the creaking floors support the remains of props so famously depicted in his paintings—a bed, an enormous mirror, a palette, and a worn-out chair waiting for the next sitter. For Lucian Freud, the act of looking was everything. This film is very much about the self, the progress of time, and one man’s intense struggle with the making of making art.” —Director David Bickerstaff
Screening in conjunction with “Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits,” opening March 1.