Monday, June 18, 2007
I had such a great time in Ireland last week.
The opening at the Hallward went really well---My friends John, Sioban and Shelia were able to make it so I wasn't as nervous as I would have been if I didn't know anyone there. The place was packed and I was able to meet a lot of the other artists that were showing. They were all very friendly, inquisitive and unpretentious so that put me at ease as well.
After the opening Sioban and John took me out to dinner in Greystones.
The next day I made the trek out to the Irish Museum of Modern Art for the Lucian Freud exhibit. This was the best show I've ever seen---right up there with the huge Guston retrospective in Fort Worth.
The paintings were staggering and it was amazing to see a show in which the work spoke for itself. It didn't matter who the sitters were or what relation they had to the artist. There were no lengthy explanations or wall text filled with artspeak needed. Incredible...the man is 84 and seems to be at the height of his powers.
The highlights of the show for me were an etching of his wife at the time, sick and in bed, called Ill in Paris, 1948 and a very delicate white charcoal drawing on grey paper called Girl's Head (Pauline Tennant), 1944. Both works were small but impactful. And of course the large paintings such as Portrait on a White Cover, 2002-03, David and Eli, 2003-04, and the massive Leigh Under the Skylight, 1994, just bowled you over.