Lucian Freud was probably the most accomplished, certainly the best known, portraitist of his time. Queen Elizabeth II, David Hockney, Parker Bowles—these are just a few of the famous faces he caught on canvas. Though his work was figurative, it was not naturalistic. He often emphasized certain physical traits or proportions, seeking to express both corporeality and emotion, blood and feeling. Freud’s portrayal of his subjects, and also his intimacy with them, inspired the artist Paul Gervais to try his hand at portraiture. His first such work, created in March 2020, depicts his partner of nearly 50 years, Gil Cohen. It set off a series that serves as one part of this exhibition. Alongside the paintings of Gervais’s most beloved friends and family, a series of imagined objects seems to say that both the abstract and the deeply familiar can channel meaning and emotion. —C.J.F.
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