A new exhibition celebrating depictions of the naked body features three works by Francis Bacon. Naked Truth: The Nude in Irish Art at the Crawford Art Gallery is on until 28 October 2018 and is displaying Study for Portrait on Folding Bed, 1963 and two sketches, Sketch, c. 1959–61; Tate, T07366 and Sketch, c. 1961; Tate, T07382. The show touches upon a range of issues including gender and sexuality, exhibitionism, censorship and autonomy, and work ranges from provocative and profound, to titillating, comic and subversive.
Bacon finished Study for Portrait on Folding Bed, 1963 ahead of his exhibition at Marlborough Art Gallery but claimed to be unhappy that the painting was shown in an unfinished state. The Tate acquired the painting after the exhibition and, in 1966, Bacon requested it be returned to him in order to fulfil what he said was his original intention of painting the floor green. However this was not carried out and the record player which would have been painted over remains. The painting is one of a number featuring Peter Lacy, whom Bacon had a tempestuous relationship with from around 1952 until Lacy’s death 1962.
Bacon made a number of rough sketches between 1957 and 1961 and occasionally later, it can be assumed that they were preparatory to his paintings, though as Bacon didn’t date or title the pieces it cannot always be seen as conclusive. Sketch, c. 1959–61; Tate, T07366 measures 34 x 27cm and was created using oil and pencil on white wove paper while Bacon used ink on white wove paper for the 25.3 x 18.9cm Sketch, c. 1961; Tate, T07382.
Containing over 80 works, Naked Truth: The Nude in Irish Art is curated by William Laffan and Dawn Williams and is accompanied by a Learn & Explore programme which includes curatorial tours, public talks and drawing events. For more information click here. The exhibition is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht / An Roinn Cultúir, Oidheachta agus Gaeltachta.
'Naked Truth: The Nude in Irish Art'
Present - 28 October 2018
Crawford Art Gallery, Ireland
*Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change. Ahead of a visiting, we recommend contacting Crawford Art Gallery for all confirmation regarding displays.
Word ref: Crawford Art Gallery website, The Estate of Francis Bacon website. Catalogue Raisonne, 2016 by Martin Harrison, FSA.