Lucian Freud got better as he got older — he was always a painter probing for the atmosphere that revealed character, the mood that seemed unsettling, but as an old man he was less concerned with mood than with clarity, with seeing things as they are.
Many — most — artists fall off near the end, if only because as their energy falters they retreat to the familiar, which they can’t reproduce with the vivacity of youth. But Freud got deeper, more unsparing, without descending to the brutalism of Francis Bacon.
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IF YOU GO
Lucian Freud: Paintings and Prints
When: Through Sept. 1
Where: Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach