More men in chairs

A quirky little follow-up to my 10/9/22 posting “Manspreading on a couch” — a set of crotch-focused paintings by Michael Carson, of men manspreading on couches — going further into the artistic subgenre of men in chairs, with three examples unearthed on Pinterest.

First, a reminder of the Carson oeuvre:


Then Philip Oliver Hale’s remarkable Portrait of Thomas Joseph Edmund Adès (2002), in the National Portrait Gallery, London:


On the subject, from the NPG site:

Adès [born 1971] is an internationally renowned composer, conductor and pianist. His works include the orchestral piece Asyla (1997) and the operas Powder Her Face (1995) and The Tempest (2004). His collaboration with video artist Tal Rosner In Seven Days premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in 2008. Adès’s piano performances of works by composers including Schumann and Beethoven have been critically acclaimed. He has conducted many orchestras and chamber ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. He was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1999 to 2008.

The portrait is the result of a close collaboration between artist and sitter over a seven month period. The setting is an anonymous corner of Adès’ London home.

And then two Francis Bacon portraits:

(#3) Francis Bacon Seated Figure (1961: oil and sand on canvas)

(#4) Francis Bacon, Double Portrait of Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach (1964)

From my 7/23/11 posting “Lucian Freud”, taking off from William Grimes in his NYT obit for Freud:

A decisive influence [on Lucian Freud] was Francis Bacon, a fellow artist at the 1954 Venice Biennale and the subject of one of his most famous works, a head painted in oil on copper in 1952. Bacon’s free, daring brushwork led Mr. Freud to abandon the linear, thinly painted portraits of the 1940s and move toward the brushy, searching portrait style of his mature work, with its severely muted palette of browns and yellows.

The Bacon portrait:


I’ve alluded to Bacon in passing, because of the fictobiographical movie Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), in which Daniel Craig plays Bacon’s lover, but now he figures in Freud’s story. Here’s one of Bacon’s (many) self-portraits:


Both men led unorthodox lives, but at opposite ends of the sexuality scale. Freud was married (and divorced) twice — to Kitty Garman, daughter of the sculptor Jacob Epstein, and to Lady Caroline Blackwood— but the real interest comes in trying to describe his survivors. As Grimes tells it, delicately:

He is survived by many children from his first marriage and from a series of romantic relationships.

(Presumably, somewhere someone is cataloguing these many children. And, by this time, grandchildren, if not great-grandchildren. Freud was 88 when he died, and he seems to have started horn-dogging early in his life.)


5 Responses to “More men in chairs”

  1. Vadim Temkin Says:

    More than once I’ve got the topics for my artworks from your posts here. However, this time I started my series of AI-assisted pseudo-drawings of sitting nudes all on my own. The models for generative AI art don’t have too many samples of that kind in their training, so these required quite significant work. Don’t believe anyone who say AI-assisted art is not an art at all because it is created by computers 😉

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      The link you give just takes the viewer to your DeviantArt pages — all of them, not just the sitting nudes. I have a DeviantArt account, so I can at least get into your pages, but then I can’t see how to find the relevant album or albums.

  2. Vadim Temkin Says:

    Arnold, even for people without DA account the link should bring my page, but it would show just bunch of black squares with “Sensitive content” labels. But you should see the images if you enable it in your account. Just click on “Latest Deviations – See all” – the sitting nudes are the last (or the first) half a dozen images.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Oh, this is hopeless. I go to Deviations — am not offered any Latest Deviations — and there are no sitting nudes there. This is a crappy interface, and your links to it are worthless. I have wasted an hour on this, and I have *extremely* little time available in my day, so I give up.

  3. Vadim Temkin Says:

    I am so sorry, Arnold, to cause your frustration. My meager images do not deserve an hour of your time. The User Interfaces everywhere seem to deteriorate on the platforms big and small. Some other day you might want to try , but don’t bother. I’d rather send them to you by email.

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