FIRST BACON FOR THE BARBER INSTITUTE

Decorative image: Francis Bacon, Two Figures in a Room, 1959.
Francis Bacon, Two Figures in a Room, 1959. Oil and sand on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved / DACS 2017. Catalogue Raisonné number: 59-03.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts has hung a Francis Bacon masterpiece for the first time in its history, facilitated by a loan from by the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

The occasion also marks only the second time that Francis Bacon’s Two Figures in a Room has been displayed away from the SCVA since 1962. The painting is free to view at Birmingham’s Barber Institute until 26 March.

Two Figures in a Room features two naked figures, usually interpreted as male lovers, and was daring and provocative at the time of its creation, when homosexual acts in private between men were still illegal in the UK.

‘Two Figures in a Room was the penultimate manifestation of the crouching nude configuration that had absorbed Bacon since he painted Study for Crouching Nude, 1952 (52-01).’ – Matin Harrison FSA, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné Volume III, page 564.

Works by Matisse, Degas and Michelangelo have been suggested as sources for the two figures – and its display in the Barber’s Red Gallery among the old master paintings of the permanent collection simultaneously suggests the debt and influence of historic art on modern painters.

The Barber Institute is also running related events including: lectures, tours and workshops, you can find out more about these on the exhibition website, and further insight on the display can be found in this recent Barber article.

Francis Bacon, Two Figures in a Room
10 February – 26 March 2017
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Birmingham, UK

Word ref: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts website and ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné Volume III’.
Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

MARLBOROUGH HOSTS GRAPHIC WORKS OF BACON

Francis Bacon, Study from Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1965. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. A 1989 lithograph of this work is due to be exhibited by Marlborough Fine Art.
Francis Bacon, Study from Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1965. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. A 1989 lithograph of this work is due to be exhibited by Marlborough Fine Art.

London’s Marlborough Fine Art presents a selection of prints by twentieth century masters, and friends, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.

The exhibition ‘Bacon and Freud: Graphic Works‘ aims to provide an overview of the artists’ graphic output and demonstrate the different approaches each took to printmaking.

Francis Bacon based his prints on a selection of 35 of his paintings dating from 1955 – 1991. Bacon worked with skilled French, Italian and Spanish printers on a relatively small body of lithographs and a few etchings (totalling about 40 editions). Marlborough started working with Bacon in 1958 and has carried his graphic works since they were made. Frankie Rossi, Director of Marlborough Graphics explains:

“Bacon wanted his prints to look as close to his paintings as possible – his attention to detail and desire for perfection are evident in these works. Prints were produced under his supervision and he personally made changes to proofs when necessary, always ensuring the right colour balance was achieved.”

All Bacon prints Marlborough exhibit and deal in were created, approved and signed in the artist’s lifetime – with the exception of three editions made in the year of Bacon’s death, which he approved but did not get a chance to sign. These posthumous prints are stamp signed by The Estate of Francis Bacon.

Bacon and Freud: Graphic Works
18 January – 24 February 2017*
Marlborough Fine Art, London

Word ref: Marlborough Fine Art website and press release.
Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Marlborough Fine Art.

*Please note this exhibition is to set to close on 24 February (not 25 February as previously stated). As always, we recommend you check in with the hosting Gallery/Museum ahead of your visit.

CITY OF CULTURE HULL HOSTS BACON’S POPES

Francis Bacon, Head VI, 1949. Oil on Canvas, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné number: 49-07.
Francis Bacon, Head VI, 1949. Oil on Canvas, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné number: 49-07.

UK City of Culture 2017, Hull is to showcase five paintings by Francis Bacon, including powerful images of popes, such as the revered masterpiece Head VI, 1949 and related works.

January sees the reopening of Ferens Art Gallery, following major refurbishment. Later this month, Bacon’s paintings will join the Gallery’s permanent collection in the display ‘Francis Bacon: Nervous System’.

Head VI is part of the Arts Council Collection. They describe the work as ‘one of Bacon’s greatest masterpieces’. We’ll be reviewing this work further in our next ‘Catalogue Raisonné Focus’ article soon.

For further information please visit the Hull City Council website and the Hull 2017 UK City of Culture website. Ferens Art Gallery also invite you to join in the conversion on Twitter using the hashtag: #BaconinHull

Francis Bacon: Nervous System
21 January – 1 May 2017
Ferens Art Gallery
Hull, UK

Word ref: Hull City Council and City of Culture websites, Arts Council Collection website, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, Volume II, pages 202-205.
Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Ferens Art Gallery.

YORK ART GALLERY EXPLORES ‘FLESH’ WITH BACON WORK

Francis Bacon, 'Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch' (1965) Oil on canvas, 198 x 147.5cm, City of Manchester Art Galleries. Photo: AGNSW / Jenni Carter. © The Estate of Francis Bacon/ DACS/Licensed by Viscopy. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, ‘Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch’, 1965. Oil on canvas, 198 x 147.5cm, City of Manchester Art Galleries. Photo: AGNSW / Jenni Carter. © The Estate of Francis Bacon/ DACS/Licensed by Viscopy. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon’s Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch, 1965, is included in the major York Art Gallery exhibition ‘Flesh’.

The exhibition on now through to 19 March 2017, explores how artists represent flesh in their work. Human and animal, alive and dead, familiar and strange. Questions will be raised about the body and ageing, race and gender, touch and texture and surface and skin.

Bacon’s Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch, and paintings from artists including Peter Paul Rubens, Edgar Degas, Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin and Circle of Rembrandt, showcase how the body and flesh have long been the subject of scrutiny by artists. Additionally, contemporary works by internationally acclaimed artists will contrast those paintings.

Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch, 1965, is a work from the Manchester Art Gallery Collection. Henrietta Moraes was a companion of Francis Bacon, who like the artist, frequented The Colony Room Club in Soho, London. The painting was executed from a John Deakin photograph of Moraes. On this piece Bacon experimentally applied paint, sections have smudges of expressive colour, whilst others have thickly applied paint where Bacon utilised large brushes. Bacon is known to have used everyday materials to apply paint, such as his pullover. Find out more about this work on the Manchester Art Gallery website.

‘Flesh’ is jointly curated with Dr Jo Applin, and will be accompanied by a publication based on new research and a varied events programme including a symposium.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to generous support from The Friends of York Art Gallery; The Henry Moore Foundation; Thomas Dane gallery, London and The University of York, and additional Art Fund support for the events programme. Find out more here.

‘Flesh’
23 September 2016 – 19 March 2017
York Art Gallery, UK

Word ref: York Art Gallery website and Manchester Art Gallery Website.
Please note all details including featured works, display/exhibition dates and hours are subject to change, and tickets are subject to availability and access, for all confirmation please contact York Art Gallery, UK.

GERMANY SHOWCASES BACON’S INVISIBLE ROOMS

Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait VII, 1953. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait VII, 1953. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

Following its run at Tate Liverpool earlier this year, the exhibition ‘Francis Bacon. Invisible Rooms’ travels to Germany’s Staatsgalerie Stuttgart this month.

From 7 October, forty major paintings and triptychs as well as rarely shown works on paper, will be showcased in an exhibition exploring Francis Bacon’s pictorial strategy.

The remarkable positioning of Francis Bacon’s subjects is the focus, showing how Bacon’s ‘invisible rooms’ emphasise the isolation of his sitters and direct attention to their psychological states.

The exhibition is further illuminated by a German/English bilingual catalogue. The book is edited by Ina Conzen and contains contributions from members of Staatgalerie Stuttgart and Tate Liverpool, as well as Christian Spies and Martin Lewis Harrison.

For more information including ticketing, associated events and further insight, please visit the exhibition website.

‘Francis Bacon. Invisible Rooms’ is a joint exhibition organised by Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Tate Liverpool. Earlier this year Tate Liverpool hosted ‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’, describing the show as ‘the largest Francis Bacon exhibition ever staged in the north of England’, you can read more on the past Tate Liverpool show via our previous news article.

‘Francis Bacon. Invisible Rooms’
7 October 2016 – 8 January 2017
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany

Word ref: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart website and press release.
Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

NEW BILBAO SHOW EXPLORES FRANCE AND SPAIN’S INFLUENCE ON FRANCIS BACON

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962. Oil with sand on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962. Oil with sand on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

Museo Guggenheim Bilbao is to open its new exhibition ‘Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez’ on 30 September. The show will explore the influence of both French and Spanish cultures in Francis Bacon’s art.

Almost 80 works will showcase six decades of Bacon’s paintings and pieces from some of the Spanish and French masters who influenced Bacon the most. Museo Guggenheim Bilbao promises some of the most important and yet least exhibited paintings by Bacon are to be displayed when the show opens later this month, and runs through to 8 January 2017.

“Picasso opened the door to all these systems. I have tried to stick my foot in the door so that it does not close. Picasso was one of that genius caste which includes Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, and above all Velázquez”. – Francis Bacon

One of Bacon’s most evident Spanish influences was the artist’s obsession with Velázquez’s ‘Portrait of Pope Innocent x’ 1650, of which Bacon produced more than 50 variations on the motif. Interestingly, in 1954, when on a trip to Rome, Bacon did not take the opportunity to view Velázquez’s original piece, when the work was on display at the Galleria Doria Pamphilj. A bold example of Bacon’s preference to paint from reproductions.

This exhibition is curated by Martin Harrison FSA, author of the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’. The show is organised by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, in collaboration with Grimaldi Forum Monaco, who earlier this year exhibited their show ‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’ (read our previous post on this past exhibition here.)

‘Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez’
30 September 2016 – 8 January 2017
Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain

Word ref:Museo Guggenheim Bilbao website and press release.
Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Museo Guggenheim Bilbao.

LAST CHANCE TO SEE MAJOR FRANCIS BACON SHOW AT TATE LIVERPOOL

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 2016. All rights reserved.

Tate Liverpool’s major exhibition, ‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’ enters its final days with a series of events.

‘The largest Francis Bacon exhibition ever staged in the north of England’ showcases more than thirty powerful paintings, alongside a group of rarely seen drawings and documents. The show will close on 18 September; up until closing Tate Liverpool and partners are providing Francis Bacon enthusiasts opportunities to further enhance their visit:

Daily until 18 September: Audio guides are available, and Tate Liverpool are offering paid one-hour tours of the exhibition. Pricing and booking details can be found here.

14 September: A screening of ‘Love Is The Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon’, followed by a conversation about Francis Bacon with Senior Curator, Kasia Redzisz. Note, this event takes place at Edge Hill University, entry is free however booking is required via their website.

16 September: ‘In Response to… Francis Bacon’, a continuation of Tate’s musical series that invites performers to appraise and interpret select pieces of art into music. From 19.00 view ‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’ then listen to each of the musical responses inspired by the artist’s work, live in the gallery. This event forms part of a ‘Late at Tate – Emin and Bacon‘ evening.

17 September: ‘Francis Bacon Study Day’ led by Dr Rina Arya. With ‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’ as a resource, the study day will provide an introduction to Bacon’s work, covering a wide range of areas including themes, painting techniques and sources. Find out more and book your tickets here. Dr Rina Arya is a Reader in Visual Communication at the University of Wolverhampton, and an art theorist who specialises in the art of Francis Bacon. She has written a number of articles on different aspects of Bacon’s work and is the author of Francis Bacon: Painting in a Godless World (2012).

“We’ve been delighted to bring the work of Francis Bacon to Liverpool and give visitors the chance to understand the artist’s work in a new way. We hope the public will take advantage of the fantastic events we have coming up and see this unique show before it closes.” – Francesco Manacorda, Artistic Director, Tate Liverpool.

‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’ is organised by Tate Liverpool and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. The exhibition is curated by Kasia Redzisz, Senior Curator with Lauren Barnes, Assistant Curator at Tate Liverpool. After displaying in Liverpool, ‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’ will travel to Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (7 October 2016 – 8 January 2017).

‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’
18 May – 18 September 2016
Tate Liverpool
Liverpool, L3 4BB

Word ref: Tate Liverpool website.
Please note that all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours, and event ticketing availability are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Tate Liverpool.

The Estate of Francis Bacon together with the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation are among the Francis Bacon Exhibition Supporters Group for ‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’.

LA CALLS ON LONDON TO DISPLAY BACON, FREUD AND MORE

Francis Bacon, George Dyer Riding a Bicycle, 1966. oil on canvas, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, George Dyer Riding a Bicycle, 1966. oil on canvas, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

Several Francis Bacon works including nine paintings are currently on display in LA, as part of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Getty Center exhibition ‘London Calling: Bacon Freud, Kossoff, Andrews, Auerbach, and Kitaj’.

The show features artists of the “School of London” who during postwar Britain rejected contemporary art’s preoccupation with abstraction and conceptualism in favour of the human figure and everyday landscape.

Tate London’s collection provides a number of the works on display from six leading artists who revolutionised and reinvigorated figurative painting in the later 20th century: Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, and R.B. Kitaj.

The Francis Bacon works on display in this show include: Reclining Woman 1961, Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne 1966, Study for Portrait II (after the Life Mask of William Blake) 1955, Study for Head of Lucian Freud 1967, Portrait of George Dyer Riding a Bicycle 1966, Figure with Meat 1954, Figure in a Landscape 1945, Figures in a Garden c.1936, Triptych August 1972 and numerous oil on paper sketches. A full list of displayed works can be viewed here.

For more information visit the J. Paul Getty Museum website, which has also made a mobile audio tour available, inviting listeners to ‘join Getty Director Timothy Potts and other experts as they explore how the “School of London” forged a new path when abstraction dominated the art world.’

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between Tate and the J. Paul Getty Museum. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

‘London Calling: Bacon Freud, Kossoff, Andrews, Auerbach, and Kitaj’.
26 July – 13 November 2016
J. Paul Getty Museum,
The Getty Center, LA

Word ref: J. Paul Getty Museum website
*Please note all details including featured works, display/exhibition dates and hours are subject to change, and tickets are subject to availability and access, for all confirmation please contact the Getty Museum, the Getty Center, LA.

MONACO HOSTS MAJOR BACON EXHIBITION

Francis Bacon, Studies of the Human Body, 1970. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Studies of the Human Body, 1970, due to be displayed along with over sixty works in Monaco. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

This weekend the Grimaldi Forum Monaco opens the doors to its major Francis Bacon exhibition: ‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’.

From 2 July to 4 September The Grimaldi Forum displays over sixty pieces including major triptychs, exhibiting Bacon’s work’s relationship to France and the artist’s Monegasque period. Works on display made available from public and private collections include Head VI 1949, Fragment of a Crucifixion 1950, Pope I: Study After Pope Innocent X by Velázquez 1951, and the pictured Triptych, Studies of the Human Body 1970.

“[…] I love it and find it very good for pictures falling ready-made into the mind.” – Francis Bacon on Monaco

Francis Bacon was immediately taken with French culture when he made his first visit to Paris in his teens. In the spring of 1927, aged 17, he spent time in Chantilly and in that same year, when visiting an exhibition at the Paul Rosenberg Gallery, he encountered Picasso’s works which inspired him to take up painting.

In July 1946 Francis Bacon left London for the principality of Monaco, living there until the early fifties. It was in Monaco that he painted his first “pope”, mainly inspired by Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, there that he started to paint on the reverse of his canvas, and there that he began to concentrate his work on the human form. Bacon continued to return to Monaco and the South of France frequently, and in 1976 Bacon took a studio apartment in Paris until 1987, executing numerous portraits of his Parisian friends, notably Michel Leiris and Jacques Dupin.

The show also displays major works of masters who inspired Francis Bacon: Giacometti, Léger, Lurçat and more, viewable as a cross-reference for visitors.

‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’ is curated by Martin Harrison FSA, author of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné, supported by the Estate of Francis Bacon, and is the first major event to be supported by the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation. Find out more about the show and Bacon’s time in Monaco via the Foundation’s website, and via Grimaldi Forum’s exhibition page.

The exhibition will travel to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao from 30 September 2016 to 8 January 2017, focusing on the artist’s relationship with Spain.

‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’
2 July – 4 September 2016
Espace Ravel du Grimaldi Forum Monaco
10, avenue Princesse Grace – 98000 Monaco

Word ref: Grimaldi Forum website.
Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Grimaldi Forum.

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