WHY ARTISTS YOU DON’T LOVE CAN STILL BE GREAT
by Jerry Saltz
Before saying why Lucian Freud
, who died yesterday, is the strangest case of my own personal artistic taste, let’s first remember a few things. It is difficult to imagine anyone in the profoundly homogenous, deeply tribal English art world of the mid-twentieth century becoming as well-known and respected an artist as the German-born grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, someone with the last name Freud. It’s like being a Plato, as unthinkable as a Rockefeller's becoming a famous bohemian Abstract Expressionist in fifties America. As if the burden of a royal bloodline were not enough, few world-renowned artists strike me as having less inborn talent than Freud. His genius, such as it is, seems the direct result of someone willing himself to accomplishment.