FIGURE STUDY I & II ON DISPLAY TOGETHER IN EDINBURGH

Decorative image: Figure Study I & II
Francis Bacon, Figure Study I, C. 1945-46. Oil on canvas. Figure Study II, C. 1945-46. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon’s Figure Study II from the Kirklees Collection is now on display free to the public at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One) in Edinburgh, alongside its companion piece Figure Study I.

Figure Study II is one of a series of paintings from the 1940s that features visual elements such as coats, umbrellas, plants and flowers, and in this case a screaming figure – set in ambiguous interiors with an orange background. They represent the first group of works which Bacon was confident enough to exhibit, having destroyed a number of his earlier works in the 1930s.

Figure Study I was acquired by National Galleries Scotland in 1998, although despite the title, it’s only a figure study by implication, given that it’s one of the few works produced by Bacon not to feature a figure. It does, however, share the same coat motif as Figure Study II, and it has been suggested the screaming figure may be lurking under the coat waiting to emerge.

“Figure Study II is one of the greatest acquisitions the Contemporary Art Society has ever made and the first painting by Francis Bacon to enter a public collection in this country… Its display with Figure Study I offers a rare opportunity to understand the artist’s thinking across two works from a critical moment of Bacon’s career”. – Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society

Figure Study II was first exhibited in London in 1946, and then purchased by the Contemporary Art Society. In 1952 when the curator of the Batley Art Gallery accepted the piece as a gift from the Contemporary Art Society on behalf of Batley, it became the second work by Bacon to enter a public collection, the first being Painting, 1946 acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

When not on loan, Figure Study II has been on permanent display at Huddersfield Art Gallery. The painting has been loaned to a number of major exhibitions in London, Australia and Japan, and has recently been part of the Invisible Rooms exhibition at Tate Liverpool which traveled to Germany’s Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

As we approach the 25th anniversary of Francis Bacon’s death on 28 April, this is an exciting opportunity for the public to experience viewing the artist’s two works side-by-side. Presently the display is set to be in place for the remainder of 2017*. For further information please visit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art website.

Francis Bacon’s Figure Study I and Figure Study II
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)
Free admission
Edinburgh, UK

Word ref: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art press release, with special thanks to Senior Curator Grant Scanlan.
*Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change. Ahead of a visiting, we recommend contacting the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for all confirmation regarding the display.

BACON INSPIRED EXPERIMENTAL PAINTING WORKSHOP IN HULL

Decorative image: Inspired by Bacon: Experimental Painting workshop. Photo: Dom Heffer.
Inspired by Bacon: Experimental Painting workshop at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. Photo: Dom Heffer.

On 29 April, commissioned by Heritage Learning, Painter Dom Heffer and Ferens Art Gallery are to host an experimental painting workshop inspired by Francis Bacon. The event will offer an environment in which chance and ‘guided accident’ can play a role in the participants’ creations.

Decorative image: Inspired by Bacon: Experimental Painting workshop. Photo: Dom Heffer.
Inspired by Bacon: Experimental Painting workshop at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. Photo: Dom Heffer.

Join artist Dom Heffer to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Francis Bacon’s work by exploring his techniques. The workshop will uncover some of the methodologies of Francis Bacon’s enigmatic process. Participants will be encouraged to explore qualities of mark making using a variety of methods – using old newspapers, sand, grit and old jumpers. This is set within an attempt to reconstruct the organised chaos of Francis Bacon’s studio in the Ferens Art Gallery, with the master’s works only a short walk away in the main gallery space.

This is the last chance to take part in this unique workshop before Bacon’s ‘Nervous System’ at the Ferens Art Gallery ends. To book a place please call the Hull box office on 01482 300306 and quote ‘Bacon01’. Price is £47 per person or £37 for Friends of the Ferens (for a limited time 2 for 1 offers are available).

Inspired by Bacon: Experimental Painting workshop
10:30 – 3:30pm, Saturday 29 April 2017
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
Hull box office: 01482 300306 (quote ‘Bacon01’)
Price is £47 per person or £37 for Friends of the Ferens

Word reference: Dom Heffer, Ferens Art Gallery and Heritage learning.
Please note, that all event details are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact the Hull box office.

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: STUDY OF A BULL, 1991

Decorative image: Francis Bacon, Study of a Bull,1991.
Francis Bacon, Study of a Bull,1991. Oil, aerosol paint and dust on canvas. The Estate of Francis Bacon All rights reserved, DACS 2017. Catalogue raisonné number: 91-04

To continue our ‘Catalogué Raisonné Focus’ series, on the month of the 25th anniversary of Francis Bacon’s death, it seems apt to look back at the final painting he completed, Study of a Bull, 1991.

On the amount of dust used in the painting, Bacon expressed ‘Well, dust seems to be eternal – seems to be the one thing that lasts for ever’. A quote that has all the more significance considering his death would follow not long after this piece.

‘Bacon told Valerie Beston that he intended the painting as a homage to Federico García Lorca. It is probably also pertinent that his friend Michel Leiris, author of Miroir de la tauromachie, had died in September 1990.’

This wasn’t the first time that a bull had featured in a piece of art by Bacon, as he’d been painting bullfighters since 1969.

‘The Bull is monumental, magisterial, standing motionless and implacable at the top of the picture-field.’ ‘…a metaphorical bull-man, the noble but threatened beast with which Bacon is identifying’.

Excerpts:Martin Harrison, FSA. 91-04 Study of a Bull, 1991, Catalogue Raisonné Volume IV, page 1392.

We’ll be sharing further excerpts in the near future. If you’d like to order a copy of the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ please visit Heni Publishing’s website.