BLUE PLAQUE COMMEMORATES BACON ON HIS BIRTHDAY

Descriptive image: Francis Bacon's blue plaque at 7 Reece Mews, London, © English Heritage.
Francis Bacon’s blue plaque at 7 Reece Mews, London, © English Heritage.

“I am very influenced by places – by the atmosphere of a room … I just knew from the very moment that I came here that I would be able to work here.” – Francis Bacon

On the 108th anniversary of his birth, English Heritage have honoured Francis Bacon with a blue plaque at his chaotic London studio-home 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington.

Bacon moved to 7 Reece Mews, a converted Victorian coach house, in 1961. The tiny studio on the first floor was to become the most important room in the artist’s life and his main home and studio until his death in 1992. Soon after moving into Reece Mews, Bacon completed his first large-scale triptych, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962. Over the next three decades he created many of his most significant works there, including portraits and self-portraits, among them Portrait of George Dyer Talking, 1966.

“I work much better in chaos. I couldn’t work if it was a beautifully tidy studio, it would be absolutely impossible for me…Chaos for me breeds images.” – Francis Bacon

Descriptive image: Chaotic interior of Francis Bacon's 7 Reece Mews Studio, London, 1998.
Francis Bacon’s chaotic 7 Reece Mews Studio, London, 1998.

The chaotic nature of Bacon’s studio in 7 Reece Mews has become legendary. He used the walls to mix and test paints and he littered the studio with used paint tubes, jars of loose pigment, paintbrushes, utensils, tin cans, sticks of pastel, pieces of fabric, empty bottles of turpentine, cans of spray paint and of fixative, tins of household paint and countless roller sponges. Paint brushes, cut off ends of thick corduroy trousers, cashmere sweaters, ribbed socks and cotton flannels all featured among the tools of Bacon’s trade, which attests to the sheer range of his painting techniques.

In 1998, six years after Bacon’s death, the studio and its entire contents including the walls, doors, floor and ceiling were removed and painstakingly recreated in The Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, the city in which Bacon was born on 28 October 1909. Today, 7 Reece Mews is in the care of The Estate of Francis Bacon.

The English Heritage London blue plaques scheme, which has been running for 150 years, links significant figures of the past to the buildings in which they lived and worked.

“It’s a great idea to put up a blue plaque for Francis Bacon at the idiosyncratic, almost insanely eccentric, tiny upstairs flatlet in which he did some of his finest work.  I’m sure he would have loved it.” – Author and broadcaster, Melvyn Bragg

Descriptive image: Exterior of 7 Reece Mews in 2017 with Francis Bacon's blue plaque. © English Heritage.
7 Reece Mews with Francis Bacon’s English Heritage blue plaque. © English Heritage.

Bacon is also presently recognised by two other plaques. A National Art Collections Fund plaque marks where the artist and other notable residents lived at 7 Cromwell Place, London. A Dublin Tourism plaque marks 63 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin, where the artist was born on this day in 1909.

If you’re interested in more information on Francis Bacon’s Studio, essays and photographs are available on our website. We also recommend the photography publication ‘7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon’s Studio’.

 

Word reference: English Heritage press release and the writings of John Edwards in the publication ‘7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon’s Studio’ © The Estate of Francis Bacon.

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: 50TH ANNIVESARY OF TRIPTYCH, 1967

Francis Bacon, Triptych, 1967. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné Number 67-16.

For our next ‘Catalogue Raisonné Focus’, we take a look at Triptych, 1967, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year, with it also being five decades this month since the portrait was delivered as a wet piece of artwork to Marlborough Fine Art.

In his diary Bacon recorded that he began work on the triptych on the 21st August 1967. The portrait has often been referred to as Triptych Inspired by T.S. Eliot’s ‘Sweeney Agonistes’, however, ‘Bacon repeatedly complained that the long title was not his intention, saying he had merely remarked that he had been reading Eliot’s verse drama at the time’.

Two women on the left panel ‘lie motionless, disengaged, on a Spartan raised floor; unpainted, it resembles two stacked canvasses’. The portrait’s title could relate to the women in the portrait who could be ‘identified as Eliot’s Doris and Dusty’, whilst the man on the telephone who’s reflected in the mirror on the right hand panel might be Pereira.

Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 67-16 Triptych, 1967. Catalogue Raisonné Volume III, page 858-859.

If you’d like to order a copy of the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ please visit Heni Publishing’s website

RARELY SEEN POPES TO BE DISPLAYED AHEAD OF AUCTION

Decorative image: Francis Bacon, Study of Red Pope, 1962, Second Version, 1971
Francis Bacon, Study of Red Pope, 1962, Second Version, 1971. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné Number 71-04.

Francis Bacon’s Head with Raised Arm, 1955 and Study of Red Pope, 1962. 2nd version, 1971, are due to be included in a free public display in London by Christies.

Until this display and auction, the location of Bacon’s Head with Raised Arm, 1955 was untraceable during the compiling of the catalogue raisonné. The painting’s reappearance is considered a remarkable reappearance of Francis Bacon art. The piece was last exhibited in 1962, at the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin, and acquired by the present owners in the following year.

The auction house highlights that Study of Red Pope, 1962. 2nd version, 1971 has been unseen in public since its unveiling at Bacon’s landmark retrospective at the Grand Palais 46 years ago. Martin Harrison FSA compares the work to its first version (Study from Innocent X, 1962) in the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’:

‘The paint is applied more sparingly, and indeed almost half the canvas is left unpainted. On the other hand, Bacon introduced an entirely new element in the later painting, the figure (presumably George Dyer) seen reflected in the curved mirror to the right.’

The display of these rarely seen Bacon works begin on 30 September at Christies’ King Street address, proceeding their ‘Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction’ in October, find out more via Christie’s website.

Word reference: Christies website and the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’

*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 Christies for all confirmation regarding the display.

STUDY FOR A PORTRAIT IN FOCUS AT TATE BRITAIN

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait, 1952. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait, 1952. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné Number 52-06.

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from the 5-30 September 2017, you can join Tate Britain’s 15 minute talk on Francis Bacon’s Study for a Portrait, 1952, as part of their Art in Focus series.

In 1952 Bacon set himself the task ‘to paint small portrait heads that were generically united’ that represented either popes or businessmen.

Study for a Portrait, 1952,  is painted with ‘verve and boldness’. Both the pink curtain rail and the red outline added to the inner spaceframe were an ‘unusual experiment’ from him. This is one of only six paintings where the head was turned to a three-quarters view.

Art in Focus: Study for a Portrait’
Tate Britain
Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 13.15–13.30
5–30 September 2017
Free entry
London, UK

Word ref: Tate Britain website and Catalogue Raisonné Number 52-06.
*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 Tate Britain 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.

BACON TO BE CELEBRATED WITH HISTORIC PLAQUE

Decorative image: 7 Reece Mews Studio
7 Reece Mews Studio, London, 1998. Photo: Perry Ogden © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved.

English Heritage have announced that the life of Francis Bacon is to be celebrated with a blue plaque at 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington, London. The artist moved into the London property in 1961. It was to remain his principal home and studio until his death in 1992.

‘I am very influenced by places – by the atmosphere of a room … I just knew from the very moment that I came here that I would be able to work here.’ – Francis Bacon

The English Heritage London blue plaques scheme, which has been running for 150 years, links significant figures of the past to the buildings in which they lived and worked.

‘Francis Bacon is widely regarded as one of the most significant painters of the 20th century. His blue plaque will mark the converted stable block in South Kensington where he lived for more than 30 years. It was here that he painted some of his most celebrated works including Three Studies for a Crucifixion (1962) and Portrait of George Dyer Talking (1966).’ – English Heritage

Bacon is one of six individuals to be recognised with Blue Plaques in 2017. Other lives celebrated include; film star Charlie Chaplin, performer Sir John Gielgud, women’s rights campaigner Mary Macarthur, dancer Rudolf Nureyev and volunteering advocate Stella Lady Reading.

Decorative image - Francis Bacon National Arts Trust Fund plaque at 7 Cromwell Place.
Bacon is presently recognised with a National Arts Trust Fund plaque at former London residence 7 Cromwell Place.

Bacon is also presently recognised by two other plaques. A National Art Collections Fund plaque marks where the artist and other notable residents lived at 7 Cromwell Place, London. A Dublin Tourism plaque marks the artist’s birthplace at 63 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin.

If you’re interested in more information on Francis Bacon’s Studio, essays and photographs are available on our website. We also recommend the photography publication ‘7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon’s Studio’.

 

Word reference: English Heritage website and the writings of John Edwards in the publication ‘7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon’s Studio’ © The Estate of Francis Bacon.

‘FRANCIS BACON: CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ’ SHORTLISTED FOR APOLLO AWARD

'Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné' on plinth
‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’

The Estate of Francis Bacon are proud to share the news that the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ has been shortlisted for an Apollo Award, in the category of ‘Book of the Year’. You can see the catalogue raisonné’s entry and its fellow nominees listed on Apollo Magazine’s website.

Dating back to 1992, the Apollo Awards celebrate major achievements in the art and museum worlds. The winners of the six categories: Digital, Exhibition, Acquisition, Book, Artist and Museum, as well as the Apollo Award for Personality of the Year, will be announced on 24 November.

30 June saw the long-awaited global publication of ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’. A landmark publishing event which presented for the first time ever the entire oeuvre of Bacon’s paintings, including many previously unpublished works. The publication containing each of Bacon’s 584 paintings, has been edited by Martin Harrison, FSA, the pre-eminent expert on Bacon’s work, alongside research assistant Dr Rebecca Daniels. An ambitious and painstaking project that has been over a decade in the making, this seminal visual document eclipses in scope any previous publication on the artist and will have a profound effect on the perception of his work. You can order an edition of the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ from HENI Publishing’s website.

Francis Bacon, Landscape with Car, c. 1945-46 (46-04), as featured in 'Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné', © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Ladscape with Car, c. 1945-46 (46-04), as featured in ‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

In August, the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ was delivered to the British Library and five Legal Deposit Libraries: Bodleian Library Oxford University, The Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin. The Estate of Francis Bacon will be gifting a significant number of libraries with the publication in the near future, as well as sharing excerpts on their website and social media channels, as the Estate continues to share and celebrate Francis Bacon’s art globally.

Apollo, The international Art Magazine, was Founded in 1925 and published monthly. Apollo is one of the world’s oldest and most respected magazines on the visual arts. It covers everything from antiquities to contemporary work, as well as providing in-depth discussion of the latest art news and debates; exclusive interviews with the world’s greatest collectors and artists; expert information on the market, authoritative guidance on collecting, and reviews and previews of exhibitions worldwide.

Word ref: Apollo Magazine website.

ANNOUNCING OUR NEW SHOP SITE AND PRODUCT RANGE

Francis Bacon. Study for Self-Portrait, 1982. Oil on canvas, 198 x 147.5 cm. Private collection. © ® ™ 2015 The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. www.francisbaconshop.com
NEW PRINTS including reproductions of the pictured Francis Bacon, Study for Self-Portrait, 1982. Oil on canvas. Private collection. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

The Estate of Francis Bacon is pleased to announce both our new and improved shop website: shop.francis-bacon.com, and some beautiful new additions to the Francis Bacon inspired products we offer.

The new shop site is designed to be easier to browse across desktop, smartphones and tablets, and we’re excited to be launching it alongside a range of new high quality additions to our Francis Bacon print line and a 50 postcard box set.

New prints include reproductions of Francis Bacon works: Study after Velázquez 1950, Dog 1952, Two Figures 1953, Study for a Pope I, 1961, Study for Bullfight No. 1 1969, Study for Self-Portrait 1973, the pictured Study for Self-Portrait 1982, and ‘Fury’ 1944. Our full range of Francis Bacon prints are digitally printed on premium quality 250gsm graphic art paper with a matte finish. The full range can be viewed here.

Francis Bacon 50 Postcard Box Set
NEW Francis Bacon 50 Postcard Box Set, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

The new prints join a number of reproductions we previously offered, as well as publications (including books from ‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’ editor Martin Harrison, FSA), and Francis Bacon inspired apparel and homeware. Visit our new shop site here.

*Please note that all items are subject to availability, and full details on each product can be found on our shop site.

‘FRANCIS BACON: CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ’ PUBLISHED GLOBALLY

Francis Bacon, Seated Figure, 1978, (78-06) as featured in 'Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné', © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Seated Figure, 1978, (78-06) as featured in ‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

30 June saw the long-awaited global publication of ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’. A landmark publishing event which presents for the first time ever the entire oeuvre of Bacon’s paintings, including many previously unpublished works.

The publication containing each of Bacon’s 584 paintings, has been edited by Martin Harrison, FSA, the pre-eminent expert on Bacon’s work, alongside research assistant Dr Rebecca Daniels. An ambitious and painstaking project that has been ten years in the making, this seminal visual document eclipses in scope any previous publication on the artist and will have a profound effect on the perception of his work.

“It will enable people to see what Bacon actually painted rather than what people think he painted.” – Martin Harrison, author of the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards, 1984, (84-05) as featured in 'Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné', © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards, 1984, (84-05) as featured in ‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

800 illustrations across 1,538 pages are contained within five cloth-bound hardcover volumes. Three volumes make up the study of Bacon’s entire painting oeuvre, bookended by two further volumes: the former including an introduction and a chronology, and the latter a catalogue of Bacon’s sketches, an index, and a bibliography. Printed on 170 gsm GardaMatt Ultra stock in Bergamo, Italy at Castelli Bolis, the five volumes are boxed within a cloth-bound slipcase.

“It’s a thrill and pleasure seeing over 300 paintings hardly known to the public.” – Majid Boustany, founder of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation

Francis Bacon, Landscape with Car, c. 1945-46 (46-04), as featured in 'Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné', © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Landscape with Car, c. 1945-46 (46-04), as featured in ‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

In addition to the 584 paintings, the catalogue contains illuminating supporting material. This includes sketches by Bacon, photographs of early states of paintings, images of Bacon’s furniture, handwritten notes by the artist, photographs of Bacon, his family and circle, and x-ray and microscopic photography of his paintings.

'Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné', © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Page of Sketches as featured in ‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

To order your copy of ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ please visit Heni Publishing’s website.

 

Word ref: Martin Harrison and Majid Boustany as quoted in the Financial Times’ ‘How to spend it’ article.

THOUSANDS VIEW LONDON CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ EXHIBITION

Francis Bacon, Triptych, 1987. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Triptych, 1987 (Catalogue raisonné number: 87-05). Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

Last week The Estate of Francis Bacon celebrated the forthcoming worldwide publication of ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ with a one-day, free-admission show in London entitled ‘Francis Bacon: Six Studies in Soho’. The Estate are delighted to say that over 2,200 people attended the exhibition, which showcased six Francis Bacon works, and first editions of the catalogue raisonné which visitors were invited to browse.

Francis Bacon, Poster for the 1988 Van Gogh Exhibition in Arles, 1985 (85-02).
Francis Bacon, Poster for the 1988 Van Gogh Exhibition in Arles, 1985 (Catalogue raisonné number: 85-02). Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

The Francis Bacon works on display in Soho consisted of: Triptych 1987 (87-05)*, Study after Velázquez 1950 (50-05), Figures in a Landscape c. 1956 (56-11), Marching Figures c. 1952 (52-22), Chicken 1982 (82-03), and Poster for the 1988 Van Gogh Exhibition in Arles 1985 (85-02). The six works adorned two rooms in the Lexington Street gallery, each accompanied with captions featuring body text from the catalogue raisonné.

Francis Bacon, ‘Study after Velázquez’, 1950. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved / DACS 2016. Catalogue raisonné number: 50-05.
Francis Bacon, ‘Study after Velázquez’, 1950. Catalogue raisonne number: 50-05. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved / DACS 2016.

‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ is a landmark publishing event that presents the entire oeuvre of Bacon’s paintings for the first time and includes many previously unpublished works. The publication containing each of Bacon’s 584 paintings, has been edited by Martin Harrison, FSA, the pre-eminent expert on Bacon’s work, alongside research assistant Dr Rebecca Daniels. An ambitious and painstaking project that has been ten years in the making, this seminal visual document eclipses in scope any previous publication on the artist and will have a profound effect on the perception of his work.

The publication contains around 800 illustrations across 1,538 pages within five cloth-bound hardcover volumes, the three volumes that make up the study of Bacon’s entire painting oeuvre are bookended by two further volumes: the former including an introduction and a chronology, and the latter a catalogue of Bacon’s sketches, an index, and a bibliography. Printed on 170 gsm GardaMatt Ultra stock in Bergamo, Italy at Castelli Bolis, the five volumes are boxed within a cloth-bound slipcase.

'Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné' on plinth
‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ displayed on a plinth at ‘Six Studies in Soho’. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved / DACS 2016.

In addition to the 584 paintings, the catalogue contains illuminating supporting material. This includes sketches, photographs, images of Bacon’s furniture, handwritten notes, and x-ray and microscopic photography of the late artist’s paintings.

To pre-order an edition of ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ please visit Heni Publishing’s website.

‘Six Studies in Soho’ appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight programme on 24 May, featuring an interview with Martin Harrison. If you are based in the UK and have access to BBC iPlayer you will be able to view the piece here until approximately 30 June (The segment on the exhibition starts at 35:40).

*Bracketed numbers represent works catalogue raisonné number