Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
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The most notorious painter of the 20th century plumbs the animal darkness at the core of the human condition
Despite his harsh habits of self-editing and a relatively late start, the British painter Francis Bacon produced a considerable body of work that continues to electrify. In 1969, Bacon became interested in bullfighting and painted a series of powerful works that evoke anguish and eroticism simultaneously in the contorted bodies of their beastly subjects. Bullfighting is like boxing, Bacon once said. A marvelous aperitif to sex." Twenty-two years later, a single ghostly bull was the subject of his final painting. Ultimately, Bacon was most compelled by the human animal. His paintings frequently eschew the distinction between man and beast; he renders his human subjects as primitive creatures driven by base instincts such as pain and fear, while his animal subjects exude a strangely human sensibility.
Francis Bacon (1909-92) began his career in furniture design and interior decoration until 1945, when his career as a painter took off. He enjoyed colossal success in his lifetime, especially as part of a London cohort that included contemporaries Lucian Freud and John Deakin.
1.52 cms H x 28.45 cms L x 23.62 cms W, 160 pages, Hardcover, April 2021.
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