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.

BROWSE AND LICENSE BACON IMAGES WITH ARTIMAGE

Decretive Image: Francis Bacon, Painting, March, 1985.
Francis Bacon, Painting, March, 1985. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved.

You can browse and license hundreds of Francis Bacon images via the DACS resource, Artimage.

The digital image resource is curated to showcase and license exceptional works of modern and contemporary art.

Last year, Artimage worked on a major project to license materials supporting Museo Guggenheim Bilbao’s blockbuster 2016 autumn/winter exhibition, Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez.

To view all the Francis Bacon images available for license, visit the DACS resource, Artimage.

FRANCIS BACON TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCE LAUNCHED

Decorative image: Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969.
Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved / DACS 2017. Catalogue Raisonné number: 69-07. One of four works utilised in the new ‘Francis Bacon Teaching and Learning Resource’.

“No, I don’t believe in teaching. One learns by looking. That’s what you must do, look.” – Francis Bacon

The Estate of Francis Bacon has launched its first ‘Francis Bacon Teaching and Learning Resource’, available for free to teachers, students and anyone eager to learn about the late 20th century master.

The learning resource uses four distinct works by Francis Bacon as jumping-off points for artistic and visual enquiry. Initially created to complement the Art and Design Curriculum at Key Stage 3 in the United Kingdom, it is also intended to support and inspire students and teachers of all levels.

Decorative image 'Francis Bacon Teaching and Learning Resource', page 11.
‘Francis Bacon Teaching and Learning Resource’, Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X 1953, page 11.

It can be used to encourage independent research, provide homework activities, provoke group discussions, support sketchbook work or simply invite new ways of looking at a well-known artist’s work.

Each chapter has been designed to be self-contained so that the user can either choose to read through from beginning to end or simply pick which elements are most relevant to them without the need to refer to the rest of the pack.

The four Bacon works in order of their appearance in the resource are Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X 1953, Crucifixion 1933, Three Studies of Lucian Freud 1969 and Study of a Baboon 1953.

The Estate are considering further learning resources and are eager to receive feedback. We invite users to share their thoughts with us either using the form built into the learning resource page, by emailing us at social@francis-bacon.com or via Twitter and Facebook.

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.

BACON’S FIRST AND LAST COMPLETED PAINTINGS TO BE SHOWCASED IN MONACO

Francis Bacon, Watercolour 1929. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Watercolour 1929. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon’s first and last completed paintings, Watercolour, 1929, and Study of a Bull, 1991, have been announced as two of the approximately sixty paintings that will be showcased in Monaco’s major exhibition ‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’.

Opening 2 July through to 4 September, the show will be curated by Martin Harrison FSA, author of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné, with the support of the Estate of Francis Bacon and the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation.

Watercolour, 1929, was painted just after Bacon’s return to London from Berlin, and is one of the 2500 items in Majid Boustany’s Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation Collection in Monaco.

Study of a Bull, 1991, was completed month’s before the artist’s passing, it has never been publicly seen, reproduced, discussed or written about, having resided in a very private collection in London. The painting’s discovery came whilst art historian Martin Harrison researched all known Francis Bacon works for the publication of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné. Study of a Bull is known to be Bacon’s last ever completed painting with art historian Martin Harrison telling the Guardian it’s maker knew he was near death:

“Bacon is ready to sign off … he was so ill… He knew exactly what he was doing here. Is the bull making an entrance? Is he receding to somewhere else? To his cremation?”

Dust from Bacon’s famously chaotic 7 Reece Mews Studio was applied by Bacon to Study of a Bull, in the same interview Harrison goes on to explain what he believes to be notable significance in this addition, within the context of the artist consciousness of mortality:

Francis Bacon, Study of a Bull,1991. Oil on canvas. The Estate of Francis Bacon All rights reserved, DACS 2016
Francis Bacon, Study of a Bull,1991. Oil on canvas. The Estate of Francis Bacon All rights reserved, DACS 2016

“To me that is terribly poignant… He often used to say: ‘Dust is eternal, after all we all return to dust.’”

‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’ will be the first major event to be

supported by the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation since it’s inauguration in Monaco on 28 October 2014, the anniversary of Francis Bacon’s birth. Find out more about the show and Bacon’s time in Monaco via the Foundation’s website, and via Grimaldi Forum’s exhibition page.

This exhibition is also scheduled to travel to Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum in September, where the show will be titled ‘Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez’ taking on an alternate focus, that of Bacon’s links 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: Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation website, Grimaldi Forum website, the Guardian newspaper, theartnewspaper.com and fineartbilbio.com. Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Grimaldi Forum.

THE ESTATE OF FRANCIS BACON LAUNCH NEW WEBSITE

Triptych: Three Studies For Figures At The Base Of A Crucifixion (right panel), 1944. Collection: Tate, London.
Triptych: Three Studies For Figures At The Base Of A Crucifixion (right panel), 1944. Collection: Tate, London.

The Estate of Francis Bacon are pleased to present their newly launched website: www.francis-bacon.com

This all-new site works seamlessly on computers, tablets and smartphones, and is built to offer a rich, ever-expanding fund of information on Francis Bacon’s art and life.

Our previous blog site is now integrated within our new website as the News section (www.francis-bacon.com/news). We hope that Francis Bacon enthusiasts enjoy exploring our new site, as we continue to update the art world on the latest Francis Bacon news, and share the artist’s rich history with the world.

This site has been created and is maintained by The Estate of Francis Bacon, with the assistance of Joe Hage and HENI Publishing.

FRANCIS BACON CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ TO BE PUBLISHED ON 30TH JUNE 2016

Francis Bacon, Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, 1981. Photograph by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS, London.
Image: Francis Bacon, Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, 1981. Photograph by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS, London.

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. 

For sales information please contact enquiries@henipublishing.com

Please note the catalogue raisonné publication date in this article has been updated since this article was first published.

TWO STUDIES FOR PORTRAIT DISPLAYED IN NEW YORK AHEAD OF AUCTION

Francis Bacon, Two Studies for Portrait, 1976. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2015. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Two Studies for Portrait, 1976. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2015. All rights reserved.

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.

Exhibition dates/times*
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
Rockefeller Plaza

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.

FRANCIS BACON MB ART FOUNDATION MONACO INTRODUCES ITS FIRST PUBLICATION

Foundation book (Head VI) - Copyright The Estate of Francis Bacon, All rights reserved and SBM (photo of Hôtel Ré) - MB Art Collection
Foundation book (Head VI) – Copyright The Estate of Francis Bacon, All rights reserved and SBM (photo of Hôtel Ré) – MB Art Collection

The first book to be published by the Foundation introduces the objectives of this institution dedicated to the life, work and methodology of Francis Bacon. This high-quality publication is being shared with many art museums and galleries around the world. This book, while not available for sale, is offered for free to each visitor attending the guided tour of the Foundation.

The book throws light on the close ties that Bacon enjoyed with the Principality of Monaco, as well as the South of France and the City of Light. Two eminent art historians, Martin Harrison and Eddy Batache, enrich the book with their texts. The book closes with a comprehensive chronology of the artist’s life.

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation’s mission is to promote a deeper understanding of the work and life of Francis Bacon worldwide, with a particular focus on the time that the artist lived and worked in Monaco and Southern France. This institute aims to: support original research, sponsor emerging artists, organise exhibitions and seminars on Francis Bacon with local and international institutions, and fund projects related to the artist. Find more information via the foundation’s website: www.mbartfoundation.com

Word ref: Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation Monaco