William Feaver is a painter, curator and author, and was the art critic for the Observer for 23 years. He is on the Academic Board of the Royal Drawing School where he also currently tutors. As well as extensive work as a broadcaster he has produced films with Jake Auerbach including Lucian Freud Portraits and The Last Art Film. His book Pitmen Painters (about the Ashington Group in Northumberland) was adapted for the stage by Lee Hall and has been performed throughout the world since 2007. He curated Lucian Freud’s 2002 retrospective at Tate Britain, Barcelona and Los Angeles, another at the Museo Correr in Venice in 2005, and the 2012 exhibition of Freud’s drawings in London and New York. He also curated the John Constable exhibition at the Grand Palais in 2002 with Freud. He has sat, weekly, for Frank Auerbach since 2003. He lives in London.
The Lives of Lucian Freud: FAME 1968- 2011
The second half of William Feaver's Baillie Gifford Prize-shortlisted work of biography: the definitive story of the epic life of one of the twentieth century's most important artists.
William Feaver, Lucian Freud's collaborator, curator and close friend, knew the unknowable artist better than most. Over many years, Freud narrated to him the story of his life, 'our novel'.
Fame follows Freud at the height of his powers, painting the most iconic works of his career in a constant and dissatisfied pursuit of perfection, just outrunning his gambling debts and tailor's bills. Whether tattooing swallows at the base of Kate Moss's back or exacting a strange and horrible revenge on Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger, Freud's adventures were always perfectly characteristic. An enfant terrible till the end, even as he was commissioned to paint the Queen and attended his own retrospectives, what emerges is an artist wilfully oblivious to the glitter of the world around – and focussed instead on painting first and last.