Today, on the 106th anniversary of Francis Bacon’s birth, we are pleased to announce that The Estate of Francis Bacon will publish Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, edited by Martin Harrison, FSA, on 30th June 2016. The catalogue will comprise five volumes in a slipcase.
The work is one of only nine portraits Bacon painted of his friend, the American photographer Peter Beard. Bacon met Peter Beard a decade prior to Two Studies for Portrait creation, at the Marllborough Gallery in London in 1965, at the opening of one of Bacon’s exhibitions, where he was carrying a copy of Beard’s book about the destruction of wildlife in Africa. Their friendship developed and in 1972 Bacon invited Beard to his studio on Narrow Street overlooking the River Thames to photograph him and one of these photographs appears to be the basis for Bacon’s large-scale Self-Portrait, painted the following year. Beard became one of the artist’s closest confidents for much of the latter part of his life.
Also present appears to be a merging of the features of Bacon himself, a technique he had began employing in 1975. It is thought the painting marks a reemergence by the artist whom at aged 70 and following the death of his companion George Dyer years earlier, and friends since, had began to feel socially isolated. Christies claim that ‘In Beard’s distinguished features we begin to see a more confident Bacon, an artist who is happy to revel once more in the physical joy of the act of painting.’
New York’s Gagosian Gallery will be hosting a new Francis Bacon exhibition from November 2015 entitled ‘Francis Bacon: Late Paintings’. The show will be an opportunity to view more than twenty-five paintings from the last two decades of Bacon’s life, when the artist painted in London and Paris.
‘Late Paintings’ becomes the third Francis Bacon exhibition to be held at the Gagosian Gallery, and is the latest in a series of exhibitions focusing on gathering and reexamining the late works of groundbreaking artists including Picasso, Moore and Warhol.
‘In his late paintings, Bacon refined themes that had long obsessed him. He quoted reflexively from his oeuvre, reworking subjects to strip them to the bare essentials.’ – Gagosian Gallery
The show’s accompanying publication edited by Michael Cary, will include new essays by Richard Calvocoressi; Richard Francis, curator of the 1985 Bacon retrospective at Tate; Mark Stevens and poet and novelist Colm Tóibín. In addition, the catalogue contains an interview with Martin Harrison, author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné; reprinted texts by Eddy Batache, Bruce Bernard, and Jeffrey Bernard; never before published documentary photographs by Edward Quinn; and an appendix of existing interviews conducted for international publications during Bacon’s late career.
This exhibition is organised by Gagosian directors Valentina Castellani and Stefan Ratibor, and includes important loans from numerous international museums and private collections. More information can be found on the exhibition site here.
Francis Bacon’s Head I (1958) goes on display to the public today at Sotheby’s in London. The painting will be available to view through to Thursday when Head I will be auctioned as part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 15 October.
Head I is Bacon’s portrait of his lover at the time Peter Lacy, in 1958. The painting was completed in the borrowed rooms he occupied in Overstrand Mansions in Battersea. More information on Head I is available via the lot notes on Sotheby’s website.
‘The simultaneous tenderness and violence of the likeness and the amazing variance of texture and treatment across the composition speak volumes of the immensely complex relationship between Bacon and Peter Lacy that charges this great work, and so many others, with passionate emotional depth.’ – Sotheby’s on Head I
The major exhibition curated by Robin Muir has been organised by the National Portrait Gallery in collaboration with British Vogue as part of the magazine’s centenary celebrations. It promises to showcase 100 years of cutting-edge fashion, beauty and portrait photography. A remarkable range of photography commissioned by British Vogue since it was founded in 1916 will be brought together for the first time, with over 280 prints from the Condé Nast archive and international collections.
‘Vogue 100: A Century of Style’ will include work by many of the leading twentieth-century photographers, including John Deakin, Lee Miller, Irving Penn and Snowdon. And include many of the faces that have shaped the cultural landscape of the twentieth century, from Henri Matisse to Francis Bacon.
Photographer John Deakin’s 1952 portrait of Francis Bacon is set to be displayed, this portrait is available to view via the V&A website. Deakin’s photography played a significant role in Bacon’s art, several of Francis Bacon’s most significant paintings were based on photographs, which he commissioned from Deakin.
Word ref: National Portrait Gallery. Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact National Portrait Gallery.