Lucian Freud, Girl With A White Dog, Oil paint on canvas 762 x 1016 mm. Tate: Purchased 1952 © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images
ARoS presents 90 masterpieces in a new collaborative initiative with Tate, London.
On Saturday 14 October ARoS will open its doors to the exhibition Bacon, Freud, and the London Painters. The exhibition will present key works by some of the most visionary and uncompromising post-war painters – including Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.
- This exhibition marks the beginning of a collaboration between ARoS and one of the world’s most renowned museums. It is an exceedingly ambitious art exhibition boasting a uniquely high standard, and it showcases extraordinary paintings, only a few of which have been previously shown in Denmark, says Erlend G. Høyersten, museum director, ARoS.
In addition to paintings by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, artworks by Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, David Bomberg, William Coldstream, R.B. Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, Paula Rego and Euan Uglow also go on display.
About The School of London
The group of British artists who have become known as the ‘School of London’ became active in the two decades following World War II. They took their artistic starting-point in bomb-scarred post-war Europe, and exploring themes like angst and hopelessness they represent man as a frail, desperate and naked being. They portray their friends, lovers and immediate surroundings in deeply personal and insistent paintings, a representation of man which is in stark contrast to the classical ideal of the human body, as pursued under autocratic regimes of the 1930s and 40s
- The psychological portraits of distorted and deformed bodies contribute to the creation of an entirely novel view of man. The focus on flesh, nakedness and fluid contours constituted a totally new visual idiom, where instincts and the darkest corners of the mind ousted the classical combat-ready body idealised by Nazi propaganda, says Pernille Taagaard Dinesen, curator, ARoS.
Francis Bacon (1909-1992)
Francis Bacon, who was born in Ireland but resident in London from c.1930 until he died, is considered one of the major British painters of the 20th century. His post-war pictures are iconic and emblematic of the cultural pessimism of the time. Bacon cultivated existentialism and would often populate his pictures with distorted figures He was concerned with the human body and human flesh, and his analyses of the body are seminal in modern figurative painting.
Lucian Freud (1922-2011)
Lucian Freud – grandson of the legendary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud – was born in Berlin, but moved to London with his family in 1932 to escape Nazism. His main subject is the human figure, albeit he departs from traditional portraiture, as his sitters are often represented as inward looking and isolated. Freud depicts the bodies of his figures in intimate positions, where angled viewpoints expose naked genitals and breasts and the most minute imperfections of the skin.
Michael Andrews (1928-1995)
Michael Andrews was born in Norwich. He studied painting under William Coldstream at the Slade School of Art between 1949 and 1953. Andrews pursued a kind of existentialist realism in his artworks, exploring the mysteries of human nature and man’s position in the world by studying the relationships between individuals and between man and nature.
Frank Auerbach (b.1931)
Auerbach was born in Berlin. His early works focused on the human figure and the building sites in the British capital, scarred by the war. In 1956 he had his first solo exhibition at the Beaux Arts Gallery in London. He soon became known for his thick application of paint. His subjects included sitters that would visit his studio and the streets and grassy hill of Camden Town, where he has lived and worked since 1954.
David Bomberg (1890-1957)
David Bomberg was born in Birmingham. During his early career he experimented with a number of different avant-garde movements. After World War I the verve of his earlier geometric form gave way to a softer, more organic expression. After World War II he taught at the Borough Polytechnic from 1946 to 1953. Among his students were Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff.
William Coldstream (1908-1987)
Coldstream was born in Northumberland in England. After working as an Official War Artist during World War II he taught at the Camberwell School of Arts and then, from 1949, at the Slade School of Art until his retirement in 1975. Coldstream was hugely influential, inviting artists like Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud and former students Michael Andrews and Euan Uglow to teach. From 1952 onwards the nude would become his most important subject.
R.B. Kitaj (1932-2007)
R.B. Kitaj was born in Cleveland. After high school Kitaj sailed extensively as a merchant seaman after which he enrolled in the army. Between assignments he studied painting at the Cooper Union and at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna before moving to England to attend the Ruskin School in Oxford and the Royal College of Art in London. His first exhibition was held at Marlborough Fine Art in 1963.
Leon Kossoff (b.1926)
Leon Kossoff was born in London. His early studies were interrupted by a period of National Service which he served abroad in the Royal Fusiliers. On his return to London Kossoff attended Saint Martin’s School of Art (where he and Auerbach became close friends), Borough Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. He had his first exhibition at the Beaux Arts Gallery in London in 1957.
Paula Rego (b.1935)
Paula Rego was born in Lisbon. Her work features monumental human figures that interweave subjects from historical art, literature and her own childhood memories. The combination of storytelling, imagination and reality was central to Rego’s practice and to her way of rendering reality and has remained so throughout her career. Rego lives and works in London.
Euan Uglow (1932-2000)
Euan Uglow was born in London. He studied under William Coldstream at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and later at the Slade School of Art. Coldstream’s influence on Uglow was marked and particularly evident in the latter’s method of observation and measurement of the figure. He exhibited frequently throughout his lifetime with two major retrospectives of his work at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, in 1974 and 1989.
Curator-in-charge: Pernille Taagaard Dinesen, ARoS.
External curator Tate, London: Elena Crippa
The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue.
Press photos may be downloaded free of charge from Dropbox when citing the name of the photographer and credit line (cf. the document Credits.pdf).