Francis Bacon Prints

by Michelle

Francis BACON
– selected prints
Nov 13 – Dec 15, 2012
Rex Irwin Gallery
38 Queen St, Woolhara
Preview: 13 November, 6 – 8pm

Rex Irwin Gallery will show an exhibition of Francis Bacon prints as a satellite to the Art Gallery of NSW’s November retrospective. This is a rare opportunity to  preview smaller prints of existing paintings, images of which Bacon manipulated mainly to aquatints and lithographs. They are autographed, catalogued and way more affordable than large format originals.

I like the chaotic intensity, kinetic elements, colour composition, the shadows, the risks and the tenderness evident in his figurative paintings. Love, obsession, extreme violence, a life of gambling and sexual repressions emerge as themes. Known for his extravagant reproductions there is a triptych sequence after his legendary partner George Dyer, who overdosed in 1970 amid volatile epsiodes in their relationship.

Triptych in memory of George Dyer 1971-1976

Triptych in memory of George Dyer 1971-1976

In the late 1950’s Bacon travelled to Tangiers, where he was friends with Allan Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Ginsberg had apparently requested a portrait of himself and his boyfriend making out, though Bacon never painted nude models. Inspired by TS Eliot, he painted a triptych to “Sweeney Agonistes” and he had great admiration for Giacometti’s elegant sculptural distortions.

Three studies of the male back 1970--1987

Three studies of the male back 1970–1987

Bacon’s South Kensington studio was a hive of inspiration layered with photographs, newspapers, journals, cuttings, brushes, palettes, spray cans etc. He was uncompromisingly innovative and painted on the unprimed side of the canvas; it was as if he wanted to reverse, or deconstruct every stroke of the brush. Like some writers I can think of he was neurotic, and going by his lovers, quite possibly masochistic. His objects are subjects often decerebrated and deformed. Here’s another stunning print from the Irwin collection which opens next week and shouldn’t be missed.

Triptych 1983-1984

Triptych 1983-1984

Rex Irwin ~