Our latest flick through the Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné reveals the history of a late painting created in homage to Vincent van Gogh; Poster for the 1988 Van Gogh Exhibition in Arles, 1985.
In the Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, 2016, Volume IV, author Martin Harrison FSA gives us insight into the painting’s origins:
‘The apparent discrepancy in the dates, or the possible confusion caused by the painting’s title, is explained by the fact that Bacon had been approached by Yolande Clergue three years before the opening of the Fondation Van Gogh, in Arles, to lend a new painting to an exhibition planned to launch the foundation in 1988. Thirty-three painters and sculptors, as well as poets and photographers, contributed homages to Van Gogh. Bacon was the first to respond, and no doubt his participation helped gain wider support for the project. Bacon’s painting was reproduced on the cover of the exhibition catalogue, and he agreed to an edition of 100 posters being made on Arches paper, which he signed.’
Van Gogh’s Painter on the Road to Tarascon is referenced in Bacon’s brushstrokes on the poster, albeit reduced when compared to the vibrant variations Bacon painted in 1957. The painting was first exhibited in 1985 in ‘Francis Bacon: Paintings’, at Marlborough Fine Art Ltd. in London. September that year marked its first group exhibition at the Fondation Van Gogh in ‘Naissance d'une collection 1985–88’.
If you’d like to order a copy of the Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné please visit Heni Publishing’s website.
Excerpts and word ref: Martin Harrison, FSA. Poster for the 1988 Van Gogh Exhibition in Arles, 1985, Catalogue Raisonné Volume IV, pages p1302.