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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Francis Bacon

Diptych - Study of the Human Body From a Drawing by Ingres, 1982-1984
oil paint and transfer type on linen

Do I like the work of Francis Bacon? The short answer would be no, a more serious answer should be that I am not familiar with his art, and it needs time to understand it and to make a judgment.

Perhaps it is better now to tell you just how I met with his paintings.

My first meeting with Bacon's art was at Hirshhorn, in an exhibition with a shocking name: Strange Bodies. There was a diptych and I recorded a video. Why had he chosen such a contorsionated rendering of the bodies was for me an open question.

I had then the opportunity to visit an impressive retrospective of his work, at the Met in New York. This was really a great opportunity as it gave me the perspective.

I would dare to say that his works called me in mind the universe of Kafka: the same powerful emotional charge. But I need much more time to become familiar with Francis Bacon's work and to be able to make a judgment.

I met again with his paintings at Phillips: another exhibition with a strange name (Paint Made Flesh) and these three works of him:

Head in Grey, 1955
oil on canvas

Walking Figure, 1959-1960
oil on canvas
Dallas Museum of Art

Three Studies for the Portrait of Henrietta Moraes, 1963
oil on canvas, three panels

(Hirshhorn Museum)

(Paint Made Flesh)



  • I did not have the chance to see the exhibition, but the interest in Bacon was ignited in me by the short films the BBC and ARTE dedicated to the retrospective when it was exposed at Tate Modern earlier this year. I am looking forward towards seeing again some of his works - I am intrigued by the formalism of the composition that reminds me Rothko, by his use of the triptych for works that seem to belong to a pagan cult of the convulsed flesh coming from another word, and by the strange relation that he seems to have with Lucian Freud. What a great artist, what a new and unquiet world waiting to be explored.

    By Blogger Dan Romascanu, at 5:18 PM  

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