CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: PORTRAIT OF GEORGE DYER IN A MIRROR, 1968

Francis Bacon, Portrait of George Dyer in a Mirror 1968. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné Number 68-05.

For our next ‘Catalogue Raisonné Focus’, we look at Portrait of George Dyer in a Mirror, 1968, which is currently on display at the Musée Fabre as part of their ‘Francis Bacon / Bruce Nauman. Face to Face’ exhibition.

In Portrait of George Dyer, 1967, Bacon’s diary referenced ‘George folded’ and this representation can be directly related to this portrait of George Dyer.

The smartly-attired Dyer is only a rehearsal for the image that appears in the mirror, where his head is ‘sliced and severed into two parts’.

Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 68-05 Portrait of George Dyer in a Mirror, 1968. Catalogue Raisonné Volume III, page 880-881.

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

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: TURNING FIGURE, 1962

Francis Bacon, Turning Figure 1962. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné Number 62-11.

The next portrait to feature in our ‘Catalogue Raisonné Focus’ series is Turning Figure, 1962, which is presently on show at the Museé Fabre as part of their ‘Francis Bacon / Bruce Nauman. Face to Face’ exhibition.

The figure in this painting is more androgynous than those that feature in two similar standing female nudes, Nude, 1961, and Figure Turning, 1692. The anatomy in it doesn’t have any significant attributes that identify its gender, and only the long hair distinguishes it as female.

Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 62-11 Turning Figure, 1962, Catalogue Raisonné Volume III, page 700-701.

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

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: THREE FIGURES IN A ROOM 1964

Francis Bacon, ‘Three Figures in a Room’, 1964 Oil on canvas © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné Number 64-10.

Our ‘Catalogué Raisonné Focus’ series continues with Three Figures in a Room, 1964, currently on display in the Musée Fabre as part of their ‘Francis Bacon / Bruce Nauman. Face to Face’ exhibition.

This painting established the symmetrical arrangements of large triptychs, something that Bacon continued to do. The ‘floor and walls cohere across the three panels’, however, the ‘centre panel is over-scaled’.

‘The outer panels depict George Dyer, sexualised in the first flush of Bacon’s relationship with him, while in the centre panel Dyer’s portrait is morphing with Bacon’s’.

Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 64-10 Three Figures in a Room, 1964. Catalogue Raisonné Volume III, page 760-763.

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

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: STUDY FOR PORTRAIT 1957

Francis Bacon, ‘Study for Portrait, 1957′. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. Catalogue Raisonné number: 57-22.

The next of Bacon’s works to feature in our ‘Catalogué Raisonné Focus’ series is Study for Portrait, 1957 (Catalogue Raisonné number 57-22) which is currently on display in Germany’s Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen as part of their 6 x Francis Bacon and other highlights of the ‘Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection‘.

Out of all the Bacon Popes, this is one of the most satirical, with the tassels on the prelate’s face being as mocking as his limply-raised arms.

Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 57-22 Study for Portrait, 1957, Catalogue Raisonné Volume II page 524-525.

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

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: THREE FIGURES AND PORTRAIT, 1975

Francis Bacon, Three Figures and Portrait, 1975. Oil and pastel on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2015. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Three Figures and Portrait, 1975. Oil, pastel, alkyd paint and sand on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017 All rights reserved.

Our ‘Catalogué Raisonné Focus’ series continues with Three Figures and Portrait, 1975, currently on display in the Bacon, Freud and the School of London exhibition Museo Picasso Málaga, Spain.

The painting combines three images of George Dyer, which all remain discrete entities, with the foreground featuring ‘a leering harpy / owl perched on a table’ which was ‘usually introduced by Bacon as a sign of mockery or malevolence’.

The spine, which is almost coming out of the skin of the left hand figure, can be associated with Bacon’s comment on a Degas pastel, After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself (c.1890-95, National Gallery, London). Within it the spine is referenced as having a grip and twist and that ‘you’re more conscious of the vulnerability of the rest of the body than if he had drawn the spine naturally up to the neck’. [Sylvester, pp.46-47]

The portrait pinned to the wall is that of Dyer with him also represented on the rail to the right where he appears to be either sprouting wings, or as a half-Eumenides, half-angel.

Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 75-07 Three Figures and Portrait, 1975, Catalogue Raisonné Volume IV, page 1080-1081.

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

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.

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: HEAD VI 1949

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

With Francis Bacon’s Head VI 1949 currently exhibiting in the UK City of Culture 2017, Hull, it seems fitting that the revered painting be the subject of our next ‘Catalogue Raisonné Focus’.

Head VI is on display at Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery throughout the year, and until 1 May 2017 it is joined by four other works by Bacon in the display Francis Bacon: Nervous System.*

In Volume II of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné, Martin Harrisson FSA writes of Bacon’s Head VI:

‘This is the earliest surviving painting in which Bacon combined Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X and a still image from the Odessa steps sequence in Sergei Eisenstein’s film, Battleship Potemkin. It is Bacon’s most celebrated fusion of traditional art and modernism – a Baroque masterpiece and an already-famous cinema image – a diachronic conflation that became one of his fundamental precepts.’

‘At this stage Bacon had encountered the Portrait of Pope Innocent X only in black and white reproductions, and he believed the purple and lavender of the Pope’s cape to be the correct colours; although the Velázquez obsessed Bacon for twenty years, he did not paint an accurately red Pope until 1960.’

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.

 

*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.

Excerpts: Martin Harrisson, FSA, 49-07 Head VI 1949, Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné Volume II, pages 202 – 205.

FRANCISBACON.ART AND FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS

The Estate of Francis Bacon Publishing

We are excited to be announcing ‘The Estate of Francis Bacon Publishing’ microsite francisbacon.art, and news of our forthcoming publications.

Last year, The Estate of Francis Bacon most notably published the artist’s complete oeuvre in ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’. Before this we had published research into Bacon’s working material, held in Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, in Francis Bacon: Metamorphoses, in 2011.

As announced on francisbacon.art, our next publications will be a series of ‘Francis Bacon Studies’, focusing on aspects of Bacon’s work in greater detail than is possible within a catalogue raisonné. The founding title, in this series edited by Martin Harrison, will be a hardback book entitled ‘Bacon and the Mind’. It will examine the artist’s work from the perspectives of neuroscience, psychology and art history. Publication dates and other information on ‘Francis Bacon Studies’ will be announced on our new microsite as the series progresses.

The 'Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné' was published 30 June 2016.
‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ was published by The Estate of Francis Bacon on 30 June 2016.

Francisbacon.art marks the inclusion of The Estate of Francis Bacon as an ‘Early Adopter’ of the .Art domain. The address communicates a proud public statement of inclusion and position in the art world, seeing us in the company of Artists, Galleries, Museums, Art Fairs, Foundations and more.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR: 2016

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). As exhibited earlier this year in the one-day London show ‘Francis Bacon: Six Studies in Soho’. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

As the year draws to a close, we reflect on another busy twelve months celebrating the life and art of Francis Bacon.

2016 provided fantastic opportunities to view Bacon’s art. The major exhibition ‘Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms’ displayed first at Tate Liverpool and is now on view at Germany’s Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. The Grimaldi Forum Monaco hosted the monumental show ‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’, curated by Martin Harrison, which now displays as ‘Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez’ at Museo Guggenheim Bilbao. The Estate supported each of these four shows.

Bacon’s art was also presented in New YorkLos AngelesParis, and in UK displays in Norwich and presently York.

Ahead of the publication of the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ the Estate organised a one-day, free-admission show in London entitled ‘Francis Bacon: Six Studies in Soho’. 2,200 attendees viewed not only six Francis Bacon works, but also first editions of the catalogue.

'Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné' was published on 30 June, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’ was published on 30 June, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.

30 June 2016 was a landmark date for not only everyone at the Estate but every Francis Bacon art enthusiast, as it marked the long-awaited global publication of ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’. The catalogue 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 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.

Image: Francis Bacon, Lying Figure, 1969. Oil on canvas. The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, Lying Figure, 1969. Oil on canvas. The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved. A lithograph of this painting was donated by the Estate to the Terrence Higgins Trust charity auction.

Among other supportive activities carried out by the Estate in 2016 was the opportunity to honour the memory of Christophe Dejean, who was a key member of staff at The Estate of Francis Bacon. Christophe was a long-time supporter of the Terrence Higgins Trust charity and so we donated a lithograph of Francis Bacon’s Lying Figure, 1969, to the Terrence Higgins Trust Annual Event, The Auction.

It has also been another busy year for The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation, their highlights include performing a lecture on ‘Francis Bacon and Monaco’ with Martin Harrison, within the framework of conferences organised by the Prince Pierre Foundation of Monaco, and participation in Monaco’s first “Nuit Blanche”.

It’s an enormous pleasure to be able to share our activities via this website and our Facebook and Twitter channels. We look forward to sharing more exciting Francis Bacon news with you in 2017.

From everyone at The Estate of Francis Bacon, we wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

 

*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 hosting Gallery/Museum.

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: ‘WATERCOLOUR’ 1929

Francis Bacon, Watercolour 1929. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon, ‘Watercolour’ 1929. Watercolour, gouache, pencil and black ink on paper. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2016. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné number 29-01.

Early this year saw the long-awaited publication of the ‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’. Presenting for the first time ever the entire oeuvre of Bacon’s 584 paintings, including many previously unpublished works.

The Estate of Francis Bacon is always investigating new opportunities to share the life and art of Francis Bacon, and so today is excited to begin sharing excerpts from the catalogue via this website and our Facebook and Twitter channels.

An apt starting point to initiate our ‘Francis Bacon Catalogué Raisonné Focus’ is with Bacon’s first completed painting ‘Watercolour’ 1929.

‘Bacon recalled his first encounter with the works of Picasso, which he said occurred in 1927, as a kind of epiphany, despite which several years elapsed before its impact was manifested in his paintings. The leaves at the bottom left of ‘Watercolour’ and the late-cubist forms in general were derived from Fernand Léger, the classic portico from Giorgio de Chirico, and the sections of brick wall from Jean Lurçat’s Smyrne I (1929 private collection). Bacon was aligning himself with European modernism, although the stylised diver is typical of Parisian art déco. At this stage there is little distinction between Bacon’s designs for rugs and screens and his independent art works.’ – Excerpt:Martin Harrison, FSA. 29-01 ‘Watercolour’ 1929, Catalogue Raisonné Volume II, page 108.

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.