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Posted on 2024-01-04 09:07:03 in MISCELLANEOUS
BBC Radio 3


On 7th January a radio adaptation of the book Bacon in Moscow by James Birch, from Cheerio Publishing, will be broadcast on BBC 3. Penned by Stephen Wakelam and with Timothy Spall playing Francis Bacon, the play will explore how Francis Bacon made history by becoming the first major Western artist to have a solo exhibition in the Soviet Union. 


The narrative unfolds in 1986, a pivotal year marked by Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev's adoption of glasnost (openness) as a political slogan. This commitment to public discussion and exploration of solutions reflected the Gorbachev administration's evolving approach.

On 22nd September, 1988, a showcasing of paintings that spanned all of Bacon’s career premiered at the Central House of Artists in Moscow. The exhibition resulted from intricate negotiations led by London gallerist James Birch, who, having known Bacon since childhood, navigated the highs and lows of his struggles with both Soviet officialdom and the 79-year-old artist. 

Learn more here.

Read more about the broadcast here.


Francis bacon Bbc Bbc radio 3 James birch Cheerio publishing Russia