The Barber Institute of Fine Arts has hung a Francis Bacon masterpiece for the first time in its history, facilitated by a loan from by the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. The occasion also marks only the second time that Francis Bacon's Two Figures in a Room has been displayed away from the SCVA since 1962. The painting is free to view at Birmingham's Barber Institute until 26 March. Two Figures in a Room features two naked figures, usually interpreted as male lovers, and was daring and provocative at the time of its creation, when homosexual acts in private between men were still illegal in the UK.
'Two Figures in a Room was the penultimate manifestation of the crouching nude configuration that had absorbed Bacon since he painted Study for Crouching Nude, 1952 (52-01).' - Matin Harrison FSA, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné Volume III, page 564.
Works by Matisse, Degas and Michelangelo have been suggested as sources for the two figures – and its display in the Barber’s Red Gallery among the old master paintings of the permanent collection simultaneously suggests the debt and influence of historic art on modern painters. The Barber Institute is also running related events including: lectures, tours and workshops, you can find out more about these on the exhibition website, and further insight on the display can be found in this recent Barber article. Francis Bacon, Two Figures in a Room 10 February - 26 March 2017 The Barber Institute of Fine Arts Birmingham, UK Word ref: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts website and 'Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné Volume III'. Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.