First Museum Exhibition of Lucian Freud Etchings in Canada Announced

An innovative exhibition juxtaposing the etchings of two masters of the human form will open the Art Gallery of Ontario’s winter season on January 30, 2010. Rembrandt / Freud: Etchings from Life, continuing through May 23, showcases the etchings of Lucian Freud in a Canadian art museum for the first time. It is also the first exhibition to compare the works of Freud and Rembrandt — both renowned for an ability to reveal the inner life of the sitter in portrait.

“The AGO is committed to presenting art in new and dynamic ways, and Etchings from Life is a wonderful embodiment of that goal,” says AGO Director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum. “The exhibition sparks a dialogue across centuries, makes new connections between two very influential artists, and reveals compelling truths about who we are and who we’ve been.”

“Rembrandt and Freud are two of the world’s greatest figurative artists who share an ability to expose inner truths about their subjects through portraiture,” explains Brenda Rix, the AGO’s assistant curator of Prints and Drawings. “That etching is so integral to both artists’ artistic practices makes this exhibition particularly exciting.”

Rembrandt / Freud: Etchings from Life will include 20 etchings by Freud on loan from the Mira Godard Gallery, the McMaster Museum of Art and several private collectors. It will also feature 30 works from the AGO’s extensive collection of etchings by Rembrandt. The collection, on view for the first time, was greatly enriched by a generous gift from Esther and Sam Sarick in 2006.

The exhibition is organized by the AGO’s Department of Prints and Drawings, which has been garnering international attention of late. Drawing Attention: Selected Works on Paper from the Art Gallery of Ontario opened to rave reviews at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, England, in October, earning praise from the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Observer, who called it “unmissable.”

Rembrandt / Freud: Etchings from Life leads a very busy winter season at the AGO, with exhibitions Wangechi Mutu: This You Call Civilization? and Françoise Sullivan: Winner of The Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO opening in February; and Sculpture as Time: Major Works. New Acquisitions. and Anselm Kiefer: Palmsonntag opening in early March. King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, which opened to widespread enthusiasm on November 24, continues through April 18, 2010.

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