Lucian Freud will be the hero of the last lecture in the “In the Garden of Art” series.
Lucian Freud’s plant paintings, despite their exceptional originality, are still an overlooked and underestimated part of his work. While centuries of botanical illustrations and still life paintings have objectified plants and focused on their aesthetic appearance and symbolic meanings, Freud’s plant portraits remove this cultural coding to such an extent that the mysterious presence of the plant is revealed in all its grandeur. In his work, plants can be what they are, irretrievably absorbed by their laconic character and unmoved persistence.
Everyone who has known Freud agrees that plants have always played a very important role in his life. The long-time lover and model, Susanna Chancellor, recalls with enthusiasm his interest in plants and his need for them. “He spent a lot of time looking at them,” she said, adding that once a month she and Freud would get up before dawn to go to the Covent Garden Flower Market, from where they brought all the plants. This tradition was continued for twenty years by assistant painter David Dawson, who also recalls that Freud liked bamboo, bay laurel and oak-hortenses, and cut flowers: fragrant peonies, cyclamens and pink twigs of cloves. The artist was not a fan of intensely colored flowers, in plants he admired their architectural, linear construction.
Lecturer: Ewa Szachowska – art therapist, coordinator and author of educational projects and long-term collaborator of Art Transfer Foundation (from 2013). She cooperates with the Museum of Modern Art on the Vistula River on the project Mature Wonderfully. She conducts workshops, guided tours, lectures and various educational activities using the medium of art, dedicated mainly to adults, especially seniors, also people with disabilities and children. She is passionate about art history – by education and love. She deals with education through art and art therapy both conceptually and in terms of workshops. She also conducts workshops and works as a guide in the Botanical Garden of Warsaw University.