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.

BACON ART TO FEATURE IN TATE’S 2018 SHOW

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. Catalogue Raisonné number: 75-07.

From 28 February 2018 to 27 August 2018, Francis Bacon’s art will feature in the Tate Britain exhibition ‘All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life’.

The show plans to celebrate painters in Britain who found new ways of depicting people, places, feelings and relationships, capturing the sensuous immediate and intense experience of life in paint.

Art from Bacon and Freud will be showcased alongside rarely seen works by their London-based contemporaries. With artists including Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, R.B. Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, Paula Rego and F.N. Souza set to feature. Find out more via Tate here.

All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life’
28 February 2018 – 27 August 2018
Tate Britain, London

*Information on which Francis Bacon’s works are to be featured, will be confirmed at a later date. Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change. Ahead of a visiting, we recommend contacting Tate Britain for all confirmation regarding the display.

Word ref: Tate Britain 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.

MUSEO PICASSO MÁLAGA SHOWCASES NINE BACON WORKS

Decorative image: Second Version of Triptych, 1944, 1988
Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944, 1988. Oil and acrylic on canvas, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved.

From 26 April to 17 September 2017, Spain’s Museo Picasso Málaga will be displaying nine Francis Bacon works as part of their Bacon, Freud and the School of London exhibition. The displays have been curated by Elena Crippa, an expert on Modern British Art, and organised by Tate London in collaboration with Museo Picasso Málaga.

The exhibition presents the work of leading painters who, since World War II and up to the present day, worked in London and depicted the city’s human figure, landscape and everyday reality, with their own distinctive and personal vision.

Within the exhibition there will be a total of ninety oils and works from painters including Francis Bacon, as well as Lucian Freud, Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, David Bomberg, William Coldstream, R. B. Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, Paula Rego and Euan Uglow. A selection of key works from the Tate will be shown together for the first time in this show.

The nine Francis Bacon works on display as part of the Tate Collection Touring Exhibition are the pictured Second Version of Triptych 1944, 1988, Triptych – August 1972, Figure in a Landscape 1945, Dog 1952, Study for Portrait II (after the Life Mask of William Blake) 1955, Study for Portrait on Folding Bed 1963, Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne 1966, Reclining Woman 1961, 1972 and Three Figures and Portrait 1975.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Museo Picasso Málaga is publishing ‘The School of London’ hardback book which features texts by its curator Elena Crippa and by art historian Catherine Lampert. Furthermore, there will be a life drawing workshop, lecture series, documentary film cycle and seminars throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Bacon, Freud and the School of London
Museo Picasso Malaga
Wednesday 26 April – Sunday 17 September 2017
Tickets €5.50 per person
Málaga, Spain

Word ref: Museo Picasso Málaga press release
*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 Museo Picasso Málaga for all confirmation regarding the display.

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.

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.

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.

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.