All Too Human: Bacon, Freud & a Century of Painting Life at Tate Britain

A recent study of oil painting techniques led me to visit Tate Britain for this exhibition of figure painting. I enjoyed the standard greats including Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud

Photo by Caroline Banks

but was more interested in examining the less-famous artists in the last room of the show; these painters were really exciting for their handling of materials.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye creates each painting in just one day according to the information at the show – quite an achievement for the scale of work she can produce. I love the looseness and confidence of her brushwork dealing with the “what” more than the “who”.Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksCelia Paul’s painting is much more heavily worked with compelling intensity.

Photo by Caroline Banks

I have long been an admirer of Paula Rego and was wowed once more by her use of pastels. Look at her treatment of fabric in this piece, particularly the veil.

Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline BanksJenny Saville  specialises in hugely over life-sized representations of the female form in oils. The materiality of her work mesmerises. Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks