Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon works from the estate

Triptych, 1991   Oil on canvas each 78 x 58 in.

“In the complicated stage in which painting is now, the moment there are several figures – at any rate several figures on the same canvas – the story begins to be elaborated. And the moment the story is elaborated, the boredom sets in; the story talks louder than the paint. This is because we are actually in very primitive times once again, and we haven’t been able to cancel out the story-telling between one image and another.” -FB
(all quotations from a 1962 interview with David Sylvester)

Read the story behind the exhibition of these images in Another Look at Francis Bacon, Carol Vogel’s Oct 13 ’98 article in the New York Times. Included are views of Bacon’s London studio.

visit Francis Bacon Image Gallery by Briney Boy

Study after Velasquez, 1950   Oil on canvas 78 x 54 in.

“You can’t be more horrific than life itself.” -Francis Bacon

The existence of these pictures has been a closely guarded secret since they were uncovered two years ago. Never exhibited before, the works include a suite of paintings from the 1950’s that offer a close look at the development of Bacon’s imagery, through study after study.

Study for Nude Figures, 1950   Oil on canvas 78 x 54 in.

“…[an] image is a kind of tightrope walk between what is called figurative painting and abstraction. It will go right out from abstraction but will really have nothing to do with it. It’s an attempt to bring the figurative thing up onto the nervous system more violently and more poignantly.” -FB

Study after Velasquez II, 1950   Oil on canvas 78 x 54 in.

“I think that Velasquez believed that he was recording the court at that time and recording certain people at that time; but a really good artist today would be forced to make a game of the same situation. He knows that the recording can be done by film, so that that side of his activity has been taken over by something else and all that he is involved with is making the sensibility open up through the image.” -FB

Two Figures in the Grass, 1950-53   Oil on canvas 58 x 52 in.

“Also, I think that man now realizes that he is an accident, that he is a completely futile being, that he has to play out the game without reason.” -FB

Crouching Nude on Rail, 1952   Oil on canvas 76 x 54 in.

“You see, all art has now become completely a game by which man distracts himself; and you may say it has always been like that, but now it’s entirely a game.” -FB

Study for Landscape after Van Gogh, 1956-57   Oil on canvas 50 x 40 in.

“I use very large brushes, and in the way I work I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do. Is that an accident?” -FB

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