The idea for the book came some time ago, following Dr. Button’s work on the early stages of Freud’s 2002 major retrospective at Tate Britain, where she worked as Senior Curator until moving to Cornwall in 2001.
Lucian Freud (1922 – 2011) was one of the most influential artists of his generation. Hailed as the ‘greatest living realist painter’, Freud’s commitment to realism, and particularly to the human figure, was often controversial. Always creating debate, Freud consistently addressed questions of human existence and perception, testing, through a sustained practice of looking, the possibility of knowing and recording human individuality.
The book is organised in seven thematic chapters covering the whole span of Freud’s life and work: Chapter One: Commitment to Looking | Chapter Two: Commitment to Painting | Chapter Three: The Studio: Proximity and Reflective Distance | Chapter Four: The Naked Portrait | Chapter Five: The Artist’s Eye: Freud and the Old Masters | Chapter Six: Time and Reality: Freud’s Significance and Legacy.
Dr. Virginia Button has a BA(Hons) in Art History from Leeds University (1979-82) and an MA and PhD on the subject of English Neo-Romanticism from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. Dr. Button was a Tate curator (1991-2001) and Senior Curator in London, where she curated artists’ projects and major exhibitions including the Turner Prize from 1993 to 1998. She joined Falmouth University in 2002 as an Associate Lecturer, becoming Head of the Department of Art in 2010 and Director of The Falmouth School of Art in 2013. Her other publications include The Turner Prize (first published 1997, fifth revised edition 2007), Christopher Wood (2003), and a companion guide for Tate St Ives, St Ives Artists (2009).