David Dawson (on Lucian Freud)

Russell & Robert meet artist David Dawson for a private, after-hours tour of 'Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits', the breathtaking new exhibition he has curated at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. We discuss being assistant/head of studio for the last 20 years of Freud's life, Leigh Bowery, going to Taboo nightclub, Freud's early drawings and paintings inspired by surrealism, his grandfather Sigmund Freud and how Freud got all his information for his paintings from looking. We explore Freud's friendships with Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach, what it's like to be a nude model for Freud's paintings - Dawson was subject in 7 paintings and 1 etching - and discover how Freud protected his own privacy and his unparalleled discipline of painting 7 days a week, every day of the year! We learn about David's own painting of urban landscapes and also his photography including timeless portraits of Freud. Follow David on Instagram @davidelidawson and see images of all artworks discussed in this episode @talkart. Special thanks to Alexandra Bradley at the RA @royalacademyarts.

We strongly recommend visiting this exhibition. 'Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits' runs until 26 January 2020 and is in the RA's smaller, Sackler Wing of galleries and they expect demand to be high. To ensure the best possible experience, all visitors (including Friends of RA) must book a timed ticket to see this show.

In a world first, more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings are brought together by this modern master of British art. One of the most celebrated portraitists of our time, Lucian Freud is also one of very few 20th century artists who portrayed themselves with such consistency. Spanning nearly seven decades, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter – from his earliest portrait, painted in 1939, to his final one executed 64 years later. They trace the fascinating evolution from the linear graphic works of his early career to the fleshier, painterly style he became synonymous with.


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