FRANCIS BACON MB ART FOUNDATION MONACO INTRODUCES ITS FIRST PUBLICATION

Foundation book (Head VI) - Copyright The Estate of Francis Bacon, All rights reserved and SBM (photo of Hôtel Ré) - MB Art Collection

Foundation book (Head VI) – Copyright The Estate of Francis Bacon, All rights reserved and SBM (photo of Hôtel Ré) – MB Art Collection

The first book to be published by the Foundation introduces the objectives of this institution dedicated to the life, work and methodology of Francis Bacon. This high-quality publication is being shared with many art museums and galleries around the world. This book, while not available for sale, is offered for free to each visitor attending the guided tour of the Foundation.

The book throws light on the close ties that Bacon enjoyed with the Principality of Monaco, as well as the South of France and the City of Light. Two eminent art historians, Martin Harrison and Eddy Batache, enrich the book with their texts. The book closes with a comprehensive chronology of the artist’s life.

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation’s mission is to promote a deeper understanding of the work and life of Francis Bacon worldwide, with a particular focus on the time that the artist lived and worked in Monaco and Southern France. This institute aims to: support original research, sponsor emerging artists, organise exhibitions and seminars on Francis Bacon with local and international institutions, and fund projects related to the artist. Find more information via the foundation’s website: www.mbartfoundation.com

Word ref: Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation Monaco

FIRST RESEARCH PROJECT SPONSORED BY THE FRANCIS BACON MB ART FOUNDATION MONACO

Image: Foundation exterior, © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All Rights Reserved – MB Art Collection.

Image: Foundation exterior, © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All Rights Reserved – MB Art Collection.

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation Monaco present their first sponsored project: ‘Francis Bacon – The Wivenhoe Chapter’.

Art historian Katharina Günther undertook a twelve-month research project analysing previously unresearched material. The project aims to deepen the understanding of the relationship between Bacon and the artist Denis Wirth Miller.

Over 250 pieces of unstudied working material from the MB Art Collection including books, magazines and torn pages, formed the project’s starting point. The materials originated from artist Denis Wirth Miller’s small studio in Wivenhoe Essex. Katharina Günther’s project is a fascinating read outlining the relationship between Bacon and Wirth Miller, exploring shared passions and shared workspaces, with Bacon known to have enjoyed working at Wirth Miller’s studio.

With its strong resemblance to his London studio, the overall set-up of Wirth Miller’s Wivenhoe atelier must have been to Bacon’s liking. For almost 25 years, he shared the small, cluttered space with Wirth Miller on a regular basis until in 1975, Bacon bought his own property close to his friend’s house. In the working environment provided by Wirth Miller, Bacon had found an artistic home away from home. – Katharina Günther

Katharina Günther explores Bacon’s lasting impression on Wirth Miller’s work, as the latter experimented with Bacon’s subjects and styles in the 1950s, notably a series of Dog paintings in the manner of Francis Bacon’s Study of a Dog, 1952 and Man with Dog, 1953. Read more about ‘Francis Bacon – The Wivenhoe Chapter’ here.

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation’s mission is to promote a deeper understanding of the work and life of Francis Bacon worldwide, with a particular focus on the time that the artist lived and worked in Monaco and Southern France. This institute aims to: support original research, sponsor emerging artists, organise exhibitions and seminars on Francis Bacon with local and international institutions, and fund projects related to the artist. Find more information via the foundation’s website: www.mbartfoundation.com

Word reference: Katharina Günther’s ‘The Wivenhoe Chapter – Francis Bacon and Denis Wirth Miller’, and the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation Monaco website.

SELF-PORTRAITS TO BE EXHIBITED TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST TIME AHEAD OF AUCTION IN LONDON

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Self-Portrait, 1980. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2015. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Self-Portrait, 1980. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2015. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon’s Self-Portrait (1975) and Three Studies for Self-Portrait (1980), are due to be exhibited to the public for the first time ahead of their auction in London, at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 1 July.

Self-Portrait (1975) shows Francis Bacon aged 65 wearing his mackintosh. The piece hails from an era when Bacon was spending long periods of time in Paris following his celebrated retrospective at the Grand Palais. This is the only small portrait-head by the artist to be overlaid with fragments of illegible Letraset – a technique typically employed to suggest discarded newspaper sheets in Bacon’s larger canvases.

Three Studies for Self-Portrait (1980) depicts the artist aged 71 with his eyes downcast and seemingly shut. It has been suggested that the piece captures the artist’s dialog around personal mortality, given Bacon’s age at the time of painting, and his experience to date with the death of close friends.

Sotheby’s London plan to exhibit both Francis Bacon paintings from 19 June at their New Bond Street address. Exhibition dates and times can be found here, for further information please contact Sotheby’s London directly.

Word reference: Sotheby’s website and press release.
*Please note all details including exhibition dates and details are subject to change and availability, for all confirmation please contact Sotheby’s London.

TWO STUDIES FOR SELF-PORTRAIT TO BE EXHIBITED AND AUCTIONED IN LONDON

Francis Bacon, Two Studies for Self-Portrait, 1977. Oil paint on Canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2015. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, Two Studies for Self-Portrait, 1977. Oil paint on Canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2015. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon’s Two Studies for Self-Portrait, 1977 is due to be exhibited and auctioned by Sotheby’s in London, as part of their Contemporary Art Evening Auction on February 10th.

“I’ve done a lot of self-portaits, really because people have been dying around me like flies and I’ve had nobody else to paint but myself.” – Francis Bacon quoted in 1975.

By 1977, many of Francis Bacon’s closest companions including his lover George Dyer had passed away, having an effect on Bacon’s physical and emotional artistic subject pool. Whilst these panels are not the first time Bacon has captured himself, nor that a self-portrait has been associated with an artist’s perception of mortality, this work does present for interpretation a classic example of Bacon’s very direct, intense and quite literally dark take on life. In both panels Bacon’s ongoing relationship with the painting of the mouth is further explored, with the right panel’s mouth contorted and seemingly screaming as the artist’s face starts to be pulled into a black abyss.

Ahead of its Contemporary Art Evening Auction, Sotheby’s highlights exhibition is set to display Francis Bacon’s Two Studies for Self-Portrait. The exhibition is a ticketed event, however tickets are available free of charge from Sotheby’s. Please find here and below exhibition dates and times*.

Sat, 07 Feb 15 | 12:00 pm – 05:00 pm GMT
Sun, 08 Feb 15 | 12:00 pm – 05:00 pm GMT
Mon, 09 Feb 15 | 09:00 am – 07:00 pm GMT
Tue, 10 Feb 15 | 09:00 am – 12:00 pm GMT

More information on Francis Bacon’s Two Studies for Self-Portrait, 1977 is available via Sotheby’s website. Additionally a video is also available to view with Sotheby’s providing further insight on Bacon’s work.

Word reference: Sotheby’s website. Francis Bacon quote: David Sylvester, Interviews with Francis Bacon, 4th ed., 1993, London: Thames & Hudson, page 129.
*Please note all details including exhibition dates and details are subject to change and availability, for all confirmation please contact Sotheby’s London.

FRANCIS BACON MB ART FOUNDATION TO OPEN

Monte Carlo, November 1981, Francis Bacon with Reinhard Hassert, © Eddy Batache, MB Art Collection

Monte Carlo, November 1981, Francis Bacon with Reinhard Hassert, © Eddy Batache, MB Art Collection

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation is set to open in Monaco on the 28th of October to coincide with the anniversary of the artist’s birthday.

This institute’s mission is to promote a deeper understanding of the work, life and methodologies of Bacon worldwide, with a focus on the time the artist lived and worked in Monaco and Southern France.

The Estate of Francis Bacon welcomes the foundation and will collaborate with it on research and educational activities. The art historian Martin Harrison, editor of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné, is on the board of this institute.

Housed on the ground floor of Villa Elise at 21, Boulevard d’Italie, at the heart of Monaco, the foundation will be open to scholars and art historians throughout the year, from November 2014, and to the general public from March 2015, by appointment only. The foundation’s website will go live on the 5th of October 2014: www.mbartfoundation.com

A previous blog post announcing the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation can be viewed here.

RARELY SEEN BACON TRIPTYCH TO BE EXHIBITED AND AUCTIONED BY SOTHEBY’S IN LONDON

Francis Bacon, 'Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (on light ground)', 1964, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2013. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, 'Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (on light ground)', 1964, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2013. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon’s triptych ‘Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer (on light ground)’, 1964, is to be displayed in London for the first time in 20 years by Sotheby’s, ahead of its sale at their Contemporary Art Evening Auction.

Having remained in the same collection since 1970 the small scale triptych has rarely been seen. It will be exhibited in Sotheby’s London galleries from Friday 27th until noon on Monday 30th June, prior to its auction on the evening of the 30th.

Interestingly, despite 129 photograph’s of Dyer found in Bacon’s Studio after the Bacon’s death, this triptych is known as one of only five of Dyer painted in this small scale. Speculation on the smaller size has been interpreted by some as an intimate gesture by the painter, with Dyer considered to be the love of Bacon’s life.

Sotheby’s believe ‘Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer (on light ground)’ is thought to mark a significant point in Bacon’s work, in that it is in all likelihood the first painting that Bacon painted using the photographs of John Deakin as source material. In early 1964, just months after he first met Dyer, Bacon commissioned Deakin – a former Vogue staff photographer and one of Bacon’s Soho drinking buddies – to take photographs of Dyer and other fellow habitués of Soho’s Colony Room. The photographs of Deakin became much used source material in Bacon’s art.

“If I know them and have photographs of them, I find it easier to work than actually having their presence in the room. I think that, if I have the presence of the images there, I am not able to drift so freely as I am able to through the photographic image. This may just be my own neurotic sense but I find it less inhibiting to work from them through memory and their photographs than actually having them seated there before me.” (the artist cited in: David Sylvester, Interviews with Francis Bacon, London 1993, p.48).

For more information about Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction and exhibition dates and location, please visit Sotheby’s auction website.

Word ref: Sotheby’s press release and website.
Please note that all details including viewing times are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Sotheby’s.

BACON WORKS TO BE EXHIBITED AND AUCTIONED IN NEW YORK

Francis Bacon, 'Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards' (1984), Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, 'Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards' (1984), Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon’s triptych ‘Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards’ (1984), and ‘Figure Turning’ (1962), are to be exhibited and auctioned by Christie’s New York later this month in their Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale.

‘Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards’ was held in high regard by the famously critical artist, when interviewed by British television in 1984 Bacon said this work was one of the most successful portraits he had ever completed.

Bacon’s praise for the triptych could be associated with his relationship with the subject, East End bar manager John Edwards. Bacon met Edwards a decade prior to the triptych’s painting when having failed to visit Edwards’s pub as expected – which manager Edwards had purposely stocked with Bacon’s favourite champaign, Bacon was confronted by Edwards over the artist’s selfishness. By this stage in his life Bacon was used to being fêted wherever he went, and Edwards’s stark confrontation startled him somewhat, but also intrigued him. The next day, when Edwards went to visit Bacon at his Reece Mews studio, a painting of Edwards was already underway. John Edwards went on to become one of the artist’s closest and trusted companions.

Bacon’s successful companionship with Edwards at this later stage in his life is thought to be captured in the artist’s careful construction of the painting. Edwards’s soft features are captured with Bacon’s brushwork, this sense of warmth and serenity is present over previous Bacon artwork connotations like angst and fear, this less violent brushwork are the hallmarks of the Bacon’s later work.

This triptych was chosen by Bacon to be the final work of his second major retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery in 1985. This exhibition celebrated Bacon’s great triptych paintings, beginning with one of his most famous paintings of all time, the iconic 1944 work ‘Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion’, and culminating with this present work, which had been painted just one year earlier.

Francis Bacon died in April 1992, and in his will he named John Edwards as his sole heir and keeper of his estate. Over the next decade, until his own death in 2003 at age 53, Edwards maintained Bacon’s legacy by overseeing the artist’s archives, including donating the contents of his Reece Mews studio to the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane in 1998. The level of trust that Bacon placed in Edwards was perhaps the ultimate demonstration of the close relationship between the two men. These three canvases are an example of the physical manifestation of that trust, and a legacy of one of the most powerful relationships that Bacon had ever experienced. For more information and insight on ‘Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards’ please view the ‘lot notes’ available via Christie’s here.

Francis Bacon, ‘Figure Turning’ (1962) Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, ‘Figure Turning’ (1962) Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Contrasting the ‘delicacy’ of the Edwards Triptych, the second work of Bacon’s to be displayed and auctioned by Christie’s in New York is ‘Figure Turning’ (1962). This work is a demonstration of Bacon’s ability to deconstruct and reconstruct the human form in paint. Bacon’s energetic use of tone captures a muscular lone figure pivoting. The physicality of the work has been associated with the tempestuous relationship the artist once shared with then former lover Peter Lacy, who passed away on the opening day of Bacon’s first major retrospective at the Tate gallery in London, an exhibition this painting was completed just in time for. For more information and insight on ‘Figure Turning’ please view the ‘lot notes’ available via Christie’s here.

“I think if you want to convey fact, this can only ever be done through a form of distortion. You must distort to transform what is appearance into image” (F. Bacon, quoted by H. Davies and S. Yard (eds.)., Francis Bacon, New York, 1986, pp. 41-44).

Both works will go on view from Friday May 9th until May 13th at Christie’s New York Rockefeller Centre ahead of their auction, more information can be found here.

Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale
Christie’s New York, Rockefeller Plaza
May 13th 19:00

Word ref: Christie’s website.
Please note that all details including viewing times are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Christie’s.

NEW FRANCIS BACON ART FOUNDATION SET TO OPEN IN MONACO IN AUTUMN OF 2014

Monte Carlo, November 1981, Francis Bacon with Reinhard Hassert, © Eddy Batache, MB Art Collection

Francis Bacon with Reinhard Hassert in Monte Carlo, November 1981. Coll. MB Art Foundation © Eddy Batache

The FRANCIS BACON MB Art Foundation, based in Monaco, is a private non-profit institute dedicating its scholarly activities and research to the most compelling and controversial British figurative artist of the post-war era.

The Foundation’s mission is to promote a deeper understanding of the work and life of Francis Bacon worldwide, with a particular focus on the time that the artist lived and worked in Monaco and Southern France. This institute will: support original research, sponsor emerging artists, organize exhibitions and seminars on Francis Bacon with local and international institutions, and fund projects related to the artist.

The Estate of Francis Bacon welcomes the Foundation and will collaborate with it on research and educational activities. The art historian Martin Harrison, editor of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné, is on the board of this institute.

The Foundation was established by Majid Boustany, who first came across Francis Bacon’s work whilst taking a course in Art History alongside his Business and International Relation studies. An encounter with Bacon’s seminal triptych ‘Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion’ (1944) at Tate Britain started Boustany on a path of discovery that continues to this day: “Bacon’s enigmatic triptych challenged interpretation and triggered in me the need to explore his world”, Boustany says.

Boustany’s fascination for Bacon’s oeuvre has now lasted for more than twenty years; he quickly discovered that the artist had lived in Monaco from July 1946 to the early 1950s and frequently returned to the Principality throughout his life. “Bacon often made references to his life and work in Monaco” says Boustany, who himself has called Monaco home for more than thirty years. Boustany decided to house his Foundation on the ground floor of the Villa Elise, 21 Boulevard d’Italie, situated at the heart of Monaco. The institute will be open by appointment to scholars, researchers and the general public throughout the year.

The founder has been building a comprehensive art collection over a number of years that now includes: a selection of paintings by Francis Bacon from the late 1920s to the early 1980s and work by key peers and influences, a unique photographic archive on the artist by leading photographers and pictures by his friends and lovers, a comprehensive collection of Bacon exhibition catalogues, a wide selection of the artist’s graphic works, a unique array of working documents from Bacon’s various studios, a number of rare items from Bacon’s furniture and rug design period and an extensive library on the artist offering an essential resource for scholars.

The website of the Foundation (www.mbartfoundation.com) will be live in early October 2014.

FRANCIS BACON: THE CATALOGUE RAISONNE. Edited by Martin Harrison – FINAL CALL FOR WORKS

The Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné will go on press in October 2014, and the final meeting of the Francis Bacon Authentication Committee will take place in London on May 23rd 2014.

Owners of paintings by Francis Bacon are requested to contact the Catalogue Raisonné Committee via The Estate of Francis Bacon at mail@francis-bacon.com or by post at:

The Estate of Francis Bacon
London House
Unit 2
266 Fulham Road
London SW10 9EL.

All information received will be treated in the strictest confidence and requests for anonymity will be honoured.

The following works have not been located, and information as to their whereabouts is urgently sought: Lying Figure (1953); Man with Head Wound (1955); Mlle Suzy Solidor (1957); Head of Woman (1961).

Francis Bacon, 'Man with Head Wound', 1955, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, 'Man with Head Wound', 1955, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, 'Lying Figure' c.1953, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, 'Lying Figure' c.1953, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Francis Bacon, 'Mlle Suzy Solidor', 1957, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, 'Mlle Suzy Solidor', 1957, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, 'Head of Woman', 1961, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon, 'Head of Woman', 1961, © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

BACON ART TO BE EXHIBITED AND AUCTIONED IN LONDON

'Portrait of George Dyer Talking' © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

'Portrait of George Dyer Talking' © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon’s ‘Portrait of George Dyer Talking’ 1966, and ‘Study for a Portrait’ 1978, will be exhibited at Christie’s London ahead of their auction later this month. ‘Portrait of George Dyer Talking’ was previously displayed in New York in January. Both works go on show from Saturday February 8th – 13th at Christie’s London King Street Saleroom.* The paintings will be auctioned as part of the ‘Post-War Contemporary Art Evening Auction’ on February 13th 2014.

Bacon and Dyer met in Soho in the autumn of 1963 with Dyer becoming arguably the artist’s greatest love and muse. ‘Portrait of George Dyer Talking’ was originally undertaken from a series of photographs taken by John Deakin around 1965. This painting is the second of eleven of Dyer that Bacon began in 1966, and completed in 1968. Bacon returned to this theme in similarly emotionally-loaded but more tragic circumstances following Dyer’s death in 1971, two days before Bacon’s major retrospective opened at the Grand Palais.

“Not an hour goes by when I don’t think about George”
(F. Bacon, quoted in M. Peppiatt, Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma, London 1996, p. 260).

Much can be interpreted from this early painting of Dyer which appears to project energy and life. The piece is spoken of as full of metaphors of both Dyer’s character, and Bacon’s reactions with it. Everything, from the subject’s twisted posture, the unorganised paperwork, the strokes of paint across Dyer’s mouth, all appear strongly energetic. Even the angle of the hanging, naked light bulb’s pull switch, and sweeping background (inspired by Bacon’s own raw studio) eludes to dramatic kinetic energy, almost as if the room is revolving at speed around a frustrated Dyer.

“the very form that you make has an implication when you are painting somebody, you know that you are of course, trying to get near not only to their appearance but also to the way they have affected you, because every shape has an implication”
(F. Bacon, quoted in D. Sylvester (ed.), The Brutality of Fact: Interviews with Francis Bacon, London 1987, p. 130).

Portrait of George Dyer Talking has been included in many important Bacon exhibitions. These include exhibitions at Galerie Maeght, Paris, in 1966-1967; Malborough Fine Art Ltd. in 1967 – the only time it has been seen in public in the UK; the Retrospective at the Grand Palace in 1971-1972; the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas in 1973; the Museo d’Arte Moderna in Lugano in 1993; and the artist’s Retrospective at Yale Center for British Art in New Haven in 1999.

For further information on ‘Portrait of George Dyer Talking’ please visit Christie’s website here, and click on the ‘lot notes’ tab.

 

'Study for a Portrait' 1978 © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

'Study for a Portrait' 1978 © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2014. All rights reserved.

‘Study for a Portrait’ 1978, marks Bacon’s departure from the previous decade of canvases dark exploration of mortality, and inner turmoil following the death of Dyer. Bacon’s friendship with John Edwards is considered a factor in this lightening of theme, having met in the Colony Room Club in 1974. In this work Bacon possibly appears to merge both his own and Dyer’s portraits with those of Edwards’s youthful features.

‘Study for a Portrait’ displays a catalogue of interesting Bacon’s texture techniques, his application of paint on this occasion is not wildly applied, but tactically layered with colourful vitality striking through flesh. Bacon used near-dry paint, and buffed his paint brush on his leg. Such techniques combined with his signature use of the unprimed ‘rough’ side of the canvas, result in a painting with a lot to interesting insight both it’s artist’s heart and hands.

For further information on ‘Study for a Portrait’ please visit Christie’s website here, and click on the ‘lot notes’ tab.

Christie’s
8 King Street
St James’s
London
SW1Y 6QT
+44(0)20 7839 9060

*Please note that dates, times and works to be exhibited are subject to change. For more information please visit the Christie’s website.

Word ref: Christies press release and website, credited publications, and the words of Martin Harrison, editor of the forthcoming Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné.