We are pleased to announce our forthcoming book, Revisions: Francis Bacon in the act of painting, which will be published in the summer of this year. This book will explore the evolution of Bacon’s process, from conception to completion, allowing unprecedented access to Bacon’s method of working.
Martin Harrison’s essay, ‘The Act of Painting’ will introduce the book and will explore the very early stages of Bacon’s paintings, which were poorly understood during his lifetime. Bacon described the genesis of his paintings, stating, "... I sketch out very roughly on the canvas with a brush, just a vague outline of something, and then I go to work ..." This description is often misunderstood or overlooked. Harrison’s essay considers the true meaning of "rough sketching" as described by the artist. He illustrates this through photographs taken in Bacon’s studio of incomplete works, x-rays, pentimenti, sketches, and canvases left unfinished by the artist.
This leads on to a survey encompassing all previously unreleased images of the early versions of Bacon’s paintings by Sophie Pretorius. Subsequent to his letting them leave his studio as complete, Bacon edited approximately one sixth of his 584 extant paintings. Unusually, the photographic documentation that survives of Bacon’s paintings before he enacted revisions upon them permits us extraordinary access to the moment of a painting’s resolution, allowing us to play the act of creation back endlessly. Through comparison of early versions of Bacon’s work to the final paintings, Pretorius speculates upon Bacon’s editorial criteria.
The book promises to be an invaluable resource for those seeking to develop their knowledge of Bacon’s working process.
Pre-order information will be announced on our website and socials