The current Tate Gallery exhibition of Lucian Freud’s recent paintings is being supported by Paula Cussi, the Mexican collector who initially faced a blocked export licence because of opposition from the gallery. After Ms Cussi bought Freud’s “The painter’s room” at Sotheby’s in 1994, an export licence was opposed by the Tate’s expert adviser. Evidence obtained by The Art Newspaper showed that the picture dated from 1944, not 1943 as previously assumed, and it was therefore just outside the fifty-year limit when the licence application was submitted (The Art Newspaper No.69, April 1997, p.7). Earlier this year an export licence was therefore granted. Despite these difficulties, Ms Cussi remained on good terms with the Tate, and hence her financial support for the present exhibition, “Lucian Freud: Some New Paintings” (until 26 July). On 15 May, Freud’s “Large interior, W11” sold at Sotheby’s New York for $5,832,000 (£3,430,588), by far the highest price ever paid for a work by a contemporary British artist, to Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Freud collector funds Tate exhibition'