Francis Bacon’s 1976 painting Two Studies for Portrait is due to be exhibited to the public ahead of it’s inclusion in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Auction on 10 November 2015.
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.’
Two Studies for Portrait is due to be displayed at New York’s Rockefeller Center on the following dates and times*. For more information please visit the lot page for the painting and click the ‘lot notes’ tab, exhibition information can be found via the auction page.
Oct 31, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Nov 1 – 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Nov 2 -7, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Nov 8, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Nov 9, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Nov 10, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Post-War and Contemporary Evening Auction
10 November 2015 (prior exhibition dates)
Christies, New York
Word ref: Christies. *Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, exhibition days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Christie’s.