FRANCIS BACON (1909-1992)
Published for the first time, a unique collection of Francis Bacon's source material and working documents
In 1949 Francis Bacon found his subject – the human body – and from then on it remained his principal theme. But he did not paint from life. Instead he appropriated images from the mass media that he manipulated into his ‘studies’. His paintings bore witness to the shattered psychology of the time and shot him to a prominence that hardly diminished over the next fifty years, and that continues to rise.
This book presents many of the ‘working documents’ about which Bacon was entirely secretive but which, it emerges, were integral to his creative process. Culled from thousands of pieces of original material found in his studio, including newspapers, magazines, books and photographs, these items have each been exhaustively and minutely researched, providing for the first time comprehensive details of the artist’s sources.
Nearly all previously unseen, these visually thrilling documents demonstrate Bacon’s unerring eye for seeking out visual stimulation in the most unexpected places. His paintings emerged from a dialogue between great art of the past, photographic imagery of the present and early cinema.
This unique selection of material – thoroughly researched, meticulously documented and compellingly presented – will provide an invaluable insight into both the artist’s work and working methods.
Martin Harrison is the editor of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Francis Bacon and the author of In Camera: Francis Bacon (Thames & Hudson 2005). He is curating an exhibition of Bacon’s late paintings, ‘Death Shadowing Life’, which will open at the Hermitage Museum in 2010. Rebecca Daniels is an independent scholar engaged in research on the forthcoming catalogue raisonné. Barbara Dawson is Director of the the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.