BODIES OF WORK
A new show places Freud and Bacon amid canvases by leading female figurative painters
Iwant the paint to work as flesh does,’ said Lucian Freud of his mission as a portraitist. That urge to capture the pure essence of human life – both its physical and emotional dimensions – lies at the heart of Tate Britain’s new exhibition, which presents important pieces by Freud and his contemporary Francis Bacon. As well as revealing the pair’s contrasting techniques (Freud worked from life, whereas Bacon frequently drew inspiration from photographs), the display sets their oeuvre in the broader context of figurative painting, with a focus on the pioneering role of women artists such as Paula Rego, Celia Paul and Lynette Yiadom-boakye. frances hedges ‘All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life’ is at Tate Britain (www.tate.org.uk) from 28 February to 27 August.
clockwise from left: lynette yiadomboakye with her confidences (2010). paula rego with her blind sister (2014). lucian freud’s girl with a white dog (1950–1951). freud at work on albie (2003–2004) francis bacon in his studio in 1966. bottom: bacon’s...