For the first Catalogue Raisonné Focus of 2020, we’re opening to page 378 of Volume II to Bacon’s Two Figures in the Grass, 1954.
Along with Two Figures, 1953, these paintings are Bacon’s most literal depictions of copulating men. After Two Figures in the Grass, 1953, the two figures did not appear in any of his work again until his painting titled Two Figures on a Couch, 1967.
Martin Harrison, FSA, discusses the reaction the painting received in the Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné: Volume II, page 378.
Unlike the earlier painting, Two Figures in the Grass was publicly exhibited, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in 1955. Two women lodged a complaint about the painting’s subject matter with the police, but, perhaps, surprisingly, they elected to take no further action.
Two Figures in the Grass, 1954, has been shown in solo exhibitions at the likes of Hanover Gallery London, Guggenheim Museum New York, Museo Correr Venice and Tate Gallery London, as well as displayed in group exhibitions in Rome and Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
Read the painting’s exhibition history and a selected bibliography here.
Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné can be purchased through our distributor’s website.