Then there was the very different experience of Lucian
Freud at the National Portrait Gallery, a memorial exhibition to one of
the most remarkable painters of the human face and figure. Like Hockney,
Freud made his own journey through the history of art.
He moved from the tensed, fraught linearity of his early work, inspired by the
sharp-eyed art of the early Flemish Renaissance, to the full, fleshy,
painterly incarnations of humanity of his later years – a voyage from Van
Eyck, so to speak, towards Velazquez. Yet for all his stylistic migrations,
Freud retained the same hard, disillusioned outlook on man (and woman). It
was an uncomfortably memorable show.
Next came the overblown, neo-baroque spectacle of Tate Modern’s Damien
Hirst retrospective. Hirst’s early works (the cow’s head in a pool of
Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/9762859/2012-in-Art-Seven-Review-of-the-Year.html