A Work from the Collection of Marc Balakjian and Dorothea Wight of Studio Prints
Featuring Lucian Freud's whippet, Pluto comes from the collection of Marc Balakjian and Dorothea Wight of Studio Prints, founded by Wight in London in 1968. Beginning in 1985, the pair worked closely with Freud as the exclusive printers of his works. Drawing each of his plates from life in his studio, Freud would then hand off the work to Balakjian and Wight to create a plate. When the plate was ready to be "bitten," Freud would be present to review the outcome – after enjoying a coffee with Balakjian first. "He usually knew right away when he didn’t like it," Balakjian recalled, "Occasionally he would sleep on it and call me the next day."
In the case of Pluto, the original work changed quite a bit in the process: upon seeing the proof, Freud chose to cut down the plate to focus more fully on the dog and also added water color to the woman's skirt.
The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.