Thursday, 1 March 2012

Paintings and Portraits

My tickets for the David Hockney exhibition were timed for late yesterday afternoon so I went into London early and decided to take my chances on getting a ticket to see the Lucien Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. I was in luck with just a short queue and then only a half hour wait until my timed entry.

I have long been a fan of Freud's work and the paintings did not disappoint. I love the rawness and the sheer physical presence of the paintings, the quality of the paint on the canvas and skill with which they are executed but... and unfortunately there was a but... it somehow it felt cramped and claustrophobic. It was definitely over crowded. Many of the big canvases demanded that the viewer stand back to appreciate them but then all I could see were a sea of heads. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but there also felt like an air of pretentiousness.. not from the paintings but from the people, which was summed up by one very well spoken lady telling her friend "He is mind bogglingly good you know..." You don't say!!! But I'm still pleased that I saw the exhibition and I especially liked his self portraits and of course was pleased to spot David Hockney... because that is where I was off to next.

David Hockney, Lucien Freud 2002,Oil on Canvas

The David Hockney exhibition was just as exciting the second time around. I saw things I didn't see the first time and found that I loved things that I wasn't sure about before. I spent a long time looking at his sketchbooks. I know I'm very lucky to live close enough to London to be able to see such wonderful exhibitions and I also know this one will have a lasting impact.

I seem to be obsessed with all things "David Hockney" at the moment and I'm enjoying reading this biography and becoming reaquainted with some of his earlier work.

I've also got some plans for some of my own work inspired by the paintings in the exhibition. I'd like to say watch this space but you could have a long wait as I seem to have all sorts of things in the pipe line and on the go at the moment... including my big trip... do you want to know where I'm going? I'll tell you soon!
Must dash... off teaching now!


  1. Can't wait to go can't wait to go!!!

  2. I'm expecting you to come back from your trip with a ful sketch book inspired by what you see and influenced by Hockney.That is your homework because I'm sure you are going to leave us (Spectrum) with plenty!

  3. What a great day, and I like the link of the Hockney portrait by Freud. I really want to read that book too -- sigh, another one for the pile...

  4. Those portraits by Freud are so powerful, and I would love to see David Hockney's landscapes. I can't imagine tackling anything on such a huge scale.

  5. I wnet to the Hockney on Monday(see my blog) and would love to go again but as we live in north Wales it won't be happening.It cost us a fortune just to go into London from our son's in Cambridge!!I would have loved to have seen the Freud exhibition as well.You are so lucky to have London on your doorstep.

  6. Hi Gina, I haven`t been checking out the blogs I follow for a while now, (as busy as you seem to be), and also with a big trip coming! You are indeed very lucky to be able to go to such exhibitions. And by the way, your books are absolutely adorable. Where can I buy one? I was thinking of mini scrapbooks/diaries for my kids, with my sketches and photos, etc. PS: do you by any chance make watercolour sketch books too? just asking, Judith x

  7. Fabulous Images of Freud's work, wish I could go to the Hockney exhibition, but saving up for an ipad at the moment want to follow his example.

  8. I attempted to leave a comment on my way home form the Hockney show yesterday evening... I can't imagine how you managed to do the Freud on the same day!

    I know where you're go-ing!!!
    You lucky woman!


  9. Gina, it either seems to be famine or feast in the art department. With two major exhibitions being headlined at the moment it certainly seems as if infrequent art lovers have come out to play in numbers, some perhaps to be seen to be lapping up some culture. I hate crowds so although I'd love to see both of these I shall have to enjoy them second hand via you and other bloggers.

  10. Glad you went again, great to see the Freud as well. Look forward to seeing future work, I'm sure lots of us will be inspired!Envious of your trip of course!


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