September 22, 2008

"Francis Bacon was one of the greatest painters of the twentieth century..."

Thanks, Art Observed, for putting together this link list of articles about the Francis Bacon show at Tate Britain. Bacon, like Frida Kahlo, is one of those painters with whom every freshman art student falls in love. Later, after spending a few semesters in the studio, they're inevitably drawn to more challenging work.
Major Celebration Heralding Francis Bacon’s Centenary Opens at Tate Gallery in London [ArtDaily]
Francis Bacon: ‘The man’s a bloody genius’ [Guardian]
Video Commentary from Chris Stephens, co-curator of the exhibition [Tate Britain]
Francis Bacon at the Tate Britain [Times Online]
Bacon’s Darkness in a New Light [Wall Street Journal]
Reviews roundup: Francis Bacon at Tate Britain [Guardian]
London set for Bacon centenary exhibition [AFP]
Bacon Show Has $6 Billion Art, Horror, Corpses [Bloomberg]
Francis Bacon claims his place at the top of the market [Art Newspaper]
Francis Bacon: touching the void, video review of the exhibit [Times Online]

From a review roundup in The Guardian:
The Guardian
's art critic, Adrian Searle, admits to being an adolescent fan ("the grisly aspects of Bacon's art appeal to the teenage mind") but after looking at the artist for 40 years, he is still troubled by the "myth, rumour and anecdote about his life [that] have come to dominate discussion of his art". Searle writes: "Bacon fakes his boneless anatomies, and has the ingenuity to make us believe them, too. I vacillate between admiration and dismissal ... Bacon was a pasticheur, a mimic. He ended up imitating himself. This retrospective … is as uneven and overstretched as the artist himself was". He concludes: "I still ask myself if he was the real deal."

"Francis Bacon," curated by Matthew Gale and Chris Stephens. Tate Britain, London. Through Jan. 4.

3 comments:

Further proof of Searle's glaring inadequacies as a critic. For sheer ignorance, laziness and insensitivity he continues to lead a strong field, predicatably dominated by the English.

Thank for the great selection of links. Looking forward to seeing this exhibition and making up my own mind but it's good to hear others.

I completely disagree with Adrian Searle - I think that it's a very powerful exhibition, and the idea of Bacon as appealing to the "teenage mind" feels deeply patronising to both admirers of Bacon and teenagers.