Monday Motivator: Agitation is the Signature Mark

“It’s all very well to talk piously about the painstaking act of seeing; the painter has to translate those pieties into a practice.

In place of Cézanne’s rectangular, latticed strokes, [Lucian] Freud composes with a strongly handled, shield-shaped mark—emphatic swiping enforced with a persistent diagonal rhythm, so that each sharp mark runs jagged to the next, like the tracks of skis.

White highlights, meanwhile, are nakedly laid on, not modulated from within the shade but splashed down impulsively.

Agitation is the signature mark, and angst the signature emotion.”

Adam Gopnk, “Lucian Freud and the Truth of the Body“, New Yorker, 1 February 2021

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