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 by the end of September 2014.