Thursday, June 11, 2009
Over Easy with Bacon
There is a major Francis Bacon show marking the centenary of the artist’s birth in 1909, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. I've been several times already and also attended the all day symposium. The exhibition hosts together many significant works from each period of Bacon’s career. The thing I found most exciting was that he was trying new methods and ideas in his paintings at the age of 70+. One of the later paintings that really sent me was "Jet of Water" painted in 1988.
I'll be going back again several times I'm sure before it closes. I'd say I'll see you there but you might not see me. In case you don't know, I love bright orange and wear it a lot, so it occurs to me that this show is one of the few places where I am truly camouflaged.
One of the lectures was about the archaeology, transportation, reconstruction and exhibition of Bacon's 7 Reece Mews studio at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin was humorous to me in its absolute devotion to Mr. Bacon. However it was gripping in the depth of illumination of how Bacon worked. Over 7,000 items were found in the studio and all of them were database catalogued before they placed them back in their exact place in the reconstructed studio. They even took the walls section by section. I loved that he used walls as his palette, and I wish I'd been there to drink some of the champagne from the many empty boxes he threw at one end of the studio. A circular mirror hung behind him when he worked. Bacon might have turned and looked at the reflection of his work, perhaps looking at the structure in a more abstract way. Pieces of thick corduroy and things like cotton wool were found in the studio, which Bacon used to impress into wet canvas. And one last note, so no artist should ever be ashamed by their methods, cut-out photo heads of George Dyer with number of pin holes in them and paint all around the outlines, suggest they were used to trace Dyers profile on to the canvas.
O.K. you've guessed I'm now deep into the cult of Francis Bacon, if you are too...enjoy these vids!