Celia Paul on Lucian Freud, Motherhood and a Life in Art

Jennifer Szalai at the NYT:

“Self-Portrait” is Paul’s account of her life and her work — or, more precisely, of her attempts to realize the possibilities of each despite the constraints thrown up by the other. She left Frank with her mother in Cambridge when he was an infant. When Paul spends time with him, she says, “I don’t have any thoughts for myself.” She lives separately from her current husband, who doesn’t have a key to her flat.

Paul writes about her struggle to love someone while dedicating herself to her painting, explaining in her prologue that she hopes her book will “speak to young women artists — and perhaps to all women — who will no doubt face this challenge in their lives at some time and will have to resolve this conflict in their own ways.” But this makes her mesmerizing book sound more helpful than it is, or than it needs to be; “Self-Portrait” is less tidy and more surprising than such a potted purpose would allow.

more here.