David Dawson: Working with Lucian Freud
28 January – 20 May 2012
This exhibition offers an extraordinary insight into the notoriously private world of Lucian Freud (1922"2011) as seen through the eyes of his model and studio assistant David Dawson (b.
1960). The exhibition will feature key paintings by Lucian Freud, placing them alongside Dawson's remarkably intimate photographs of the artist at work as well as his own rarely-seen paintings of street scenes and cityscapes.After graduating from the Painting school of the RCA in 1989 David Dawson began working for Freud's dealer James Kirkman who took him to Holland Park to meet Freud in his studio. 'I was so excited about this,' he says. 'I was going to meet a really great painter.' The studio, he recalls, was 'the most remarkable room he had ever stepped into', while Freud was 'quite small, slim, very light and quick on his feet with fantastically bright sparkling eyes. His good manners and quick wit immediately put me at ease.'The meeting was to prompt 'the start of 20 years of a brilliant journey' as Freud's assistant, model, friend and witness to the creation of some of the most celebrated paintings of our age. Dawson's unique access led to the development of a portfolio of strikingly intimate photographs of Freud which have become iconic works in their own right. Recently his image of Freud painting the Queen was chosen by both Nick Clegg and Lord Mandelson for the Whitechapel's exhibition of works from the Government Art Collection. This exhibition features several of his most evocative photographs including Working at Night (2005) and Lucian with Fox Club (2005).