Francis Bacon 1909-1992

 
Francis Bacon is the most important British painter of the twentieth century. He initially established his reputation in London in the 1940s when he was widely publicised for the horror of his imagery, in which he sought to strip man of any veneer of civilisation to expose the psyche of the subject and reveal the Human Condition.

He is often associated with the School of London, a circle of figurative painters that includes Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff and R.B.Kitaj.

In his recreation of the subject Bacon built from Picasso to create a brilliantly inventive art that combined chance with control.


1909
Born in Dublin, Ireland

1914
At the outbreak of war, family move to London. Thereafter the family move back and forth between England and Irleand changing houses every year or two, never having a permanent home

1925
Bacon suffered with asthma as a child & is privately tutored. Leaves home at 16 and moves to London

1927-28
Travels to Berlin and Paris - saw Picasso exhibition which inspires him to start making drawings and watercolours

1929
Returns to London. Exhibits in his Queensbury Mews studio furniture and rugs made from his own designs. Begins painting in oils

1930
Arranges a joint exhibition at his studio with Roy de Maistre, showing furniture as well as paintings and gouaches. The Studio magazine features a double page article on his studio titled 'The 1930 Look in British Decoration'

1931
Moves to Fulham Road. Gradually abandons his work as a decorator in order to devote himself to painting. Earns his living by doing odd jobs, none of them connected with art

1933
Paints Crucifixion 1933 which is reproduced in Herbert Read's Art Now

1934
First one-man show at the Transition Gallery, Sunderland House. Discouraged by its lack of success, he paints less and less and starts to gamble

1936
Work submitted to the International Surrealist Exhibition rejected for being "not sufficiently surreal"

1937
Takes part in group exhibition, Young British Painters at Agnews, London organised by his friend Eric Hall. Other artists included Roy de Maistre, Graham Sutherland, Victor Pasmore and Ivon Hitchens

1941-44
Rents Millais's old studio in Kensington. Destroys all his earlier works (only ten canvases remain from the period 1929-44). Declared unfit for military service due to his asthma and is assigned to Civil Defence (ARP)

1944-45
Resumes paintins and executes the triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion which causes considerable consternation when shown at the Lefevre Gallery in April 1945. Acquired by the Tate in 1953

1945-46
Exhibits Figure in a Landscape and Figure Study II in group exhibitions held at the Lefevre and Redfern Galleries. Other artists included Matthew Smith, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland

1946-50
Lives mainly in Monte Carlo. Friendship with Graham Sutherland

1948
Alfred H. Barr purchases Painting 1946, one of his most important works for the MoMA, New York

1949
One-man show at Hanover Gallery, London, who became his agent for the next ten years. Begins painting the series of heads, including Head VI which is regarded as the first of the "Pope" paintings

1950
Teaches briefly at the Royal College of Art

1951
First portrait of Lucian Freud

1953
First one-man show outside the UK at Durlacher Brothers, New York

1954
Represents Great Britain in the XXVII Venice Biennale with Ben Nicholson and Lucian Freud

1955
First retrospective at the ICA, London. Paints portraits of collectors Robert and Lisa Sainbury who become his patrons

1956
Visits Tangier to seee his friend Peter Lacey. Returns there frequently during the next three years

1958
Signs contract with Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London

1959
Paints for a while in St. Ives, Cornwall

1962
Paints his first large triptych Three Studies for a Crucifixion acquired by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Death of Peter Lacey

1964
Friendship with George Dyer who becomes a model for many of his paintings

1967
Awarded the Painting Prize at the Pittsburg International and the Rubens Prize by the City of Siegen

1971
Death of his friend George Dyer

1992
Died in Madrid, Spain


Selected Exhibitions


2008-2009
Francis Bacon, Tate Britain, London

2008
Violence and Sensation; Francis Bacon and the Remaking of Appearence, James Hyman Gallery, London

Francis Bacon; Prints, James Hyman Gallery, London

Kontellationem III, Stadel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

Modern Prints - Klassische Moderne bis Pop Art, Galerie Proarata, Zurich, Switzerland

2006 - 2007
Francis Bacon - The Violence of the Real, K20 Kunstsammlung Nordhein Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

2006
Bienal del Aire, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber (MACCSI), Caracas, Venezuela

Summer Exhibition, Marlborough Fine Art, London

Mirada mMuseo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain

Francis Bacon, Gagosian Gallery, London

2005
Francis Bacon: Die Portraits, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany

De Picasso a Basquiat, Musée Maillol, Fondation Dina Vierny, Paris, France

Celebración del arte: Medio siglo de la Fundación Juan March, Fundación Juan March, Madrid, Spain

Summer Exhibition 2005, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Francis Bacon: Studying Form, Faggionato Fine Art, London, UK

2004
Whatmodern?, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY

Hidden Histories, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West Midlands, UK

Modern Means: Continuity and Change in Art from 1880 to the Present, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Francis Bacon: Le Sacré et le Profane, Musée Maillol, Fondation Dina Vierny, Paris, France

2003
Francis Bacon, Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna; touring to Basel, Fondation Beyeler

Francis Bacon, Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain

Francis Bacon, Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Museu Serralves, Oporto, Portugal

Francis Bacon: Last Paintings, Faggionato Fine Art, London

2002
Francis Bacon, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York

Francis Bacon, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh-Arles, Arles, France

Francis Bacon, Marlborough Gallery, London

2001
Francis Bacon, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands

2000
Francis Bacon, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin

Auerbach, Bacon, Freud, Kossoff, James Hyman Gallery, London

1999
Francis Bacon, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, US

Francis Bacon, New Haven, The Yale Centre for British art; travelled to: Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts; San Francisco, Museum of Modern Art; Fort Worth, Museum of Modern Art

Francis Bacon: Works on Paper, Tate Gallery, London

Francis Bacon, Faggionato Fine Arts, London

Francis Bacon, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France

1998
Francis Bacon, Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark

Francis Bacon, Hayward Gallery, London

Francis Bacon, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York

1996
Francis Bacon, Centre G Pompidou, MNA, Paris, France; travelled to: Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

1993
Francis Bacon, Marlborough Gallery, New York

Francis Bacon, Museo d'Arte Moderna, Lugano, Switzerland

Francis Bacon, Museo Correr, XLV Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy

Francis Bacon, Marlborough Fine Art, London

1992
Francis Bacon, Galeria Marlborough, Madrid, Spain

1990
Francis Bacon, Marlborough Fine Art, New York

Francis Bacon, Tate Gallery, Liverpool

1989
Francis Bacon, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France

Francis Bacon, Marlborough Fine Art, London

Francis Bacon, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington; travelled to: County Museum, Los Angeles; MOMA, New York

1988
Central House of Artists, New Tretyakov, Moscow, Russia

Francis Bacon, Marlborough Fine Art, Tokyo, Japan

1987
Francis Bacon, Marlborough Gallery, New York

Francis Bacon, Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland

Francis Bacon, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France

1985
Francis Bacon, Marlborough Fine Art, New York

Francis Bacon, Tate Gallery, London; travelled to Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart; Nationalgaleri, Berlin

1984
Francis Bacon, Galerie Maeght- Lelong, Paris, France

Francis Bacon, Marlborough Gallery, New York

Francis Bacon, Thomas Gibson Gallery, London

1983
Francis Bacon, Marlborough Fine Art, London

Francis Bacon, National Museum of Modern Art, Toyko, Japan; travelled to National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Aichi Prefectural Art Gallery, Nagoya

1980
Francis Bacon, Stadtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim, Germany

Francis Bacon, Marlborough Gallery, New York

1978
Francis Bacon, Fundacion Juan March, Madrid, Spain; travelled to Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain

1977
Francis Bacon, Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, France

Francis Bacon, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico; travelled to: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Caracas, Venezuela

1976
Francis Bacon, Musee Cantini, Marseilles, France

1975
Francis Bacon, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Francis Bacon, Marlborough Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland

1972
Francis Bacon, Galleria del Milione, Milan, Italy

1971
Francis Bacon, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris France; travelled to Stadische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, Germany

1970
Francis Bacon, Galleria Galatea, Turin, Italy

1968
Francis Bacon, Marlborough Gerson Gallery, New York

1966
Francis Bacon, Galleria Toninelli Arte Moderna, Milan, Italy

Francis Bacon, Galerie Maeght, Paris, France; travelled to Marlborough Galleria d'arte, Rome; Marlborough Fine Art, London; Oberes Schloss, Germany

1965
Francis Bacon, Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany; travelled to Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin; Marlborough Fine Art, London

1964
Francis Bacon, Contemporary Arts Association, Houston, Texas

1963
Francis Bacon, Marlborough Fine Art, London

Francis Bacon, Granville Gallery, New York

Francis Bacon, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; travelled to The Art Institute, Chicago

1962
Francis Bacon, The Tate Gallery, London; travelled to: Kunsthalle, Mannheim; Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin ; Zurich, Kunsthaus; Amsterdam, Stedelijk Musuem

Franics Bacon, Galleria Galatea, Milan, Italy

1961
Francis Bacon, Nottingham University, Nottingham

1960
Franics Bacon, Marlborough Fine Art, London

1959
Francis Bacon, Hanover Gallery, London

Francis Bacon, Richard L.Feigen Gallery, Chicago

1958
Francis Bacon, Galleria Galatea, Turin, Italy; travelled to Galleria dell'Ariete, Milan; Galleria l'Obelisco, Rome

1957
Francis Bacon, Galerie Rive Droite, Paris, France

Francis Bacon, Beaux-Arts Gallery, London

1955
Francis Bacon, ICA, London

1954
Francis Bacon, Hanover Gallery, London

1953
Francis Bacon, Durlacher Brothers, New York

Francis Bacon, Beaux-Arts Gallery, London

1952
Francis Bacon, Hanover Gallery, London

1951
Francis Bacon, Hanover Gallery, London

1934
Francis Bacon, Transition Gallery, London

1928 - 1929
Francis Bacon, Artist's Studio, London


Selected Collections


Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA
Art Centre, Des Moines, USA
Art Gallery, Aberdeen, Scotland
Art Gallery, Gothenburg, Sweden
Art Gallery, Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Huddersfield
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Art Museum Antheneum, Helsinki, Finland
Bezalel National Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Boymans Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Brera Museum of Modern Art, Milan, Italy
City Art Gallery, Birmingham
City Art Gallery, Manchester
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands
Institute of Arts, Detroit, USA
Institure of Arts, Minneapolis, USA
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, USA
King's College Hatton Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Kunsthalle, Mannheim, Germany
Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland
Kunstmuseum, Hanover, Germany
Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfallen, Dusseldorf, Germany
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Musee Cantini, Marseille, France
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Ghent, Belgium
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Liege, Belgium
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Caracas, Venezuela
Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, Spain
Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico
Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester
Museum of Art, Cleveland, USA
Museum of Art, Fukuoka, Japan
Museum of Fine Art, Dallas, USA
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan
Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
National Gallery of South Australia, Adeliade, Australia
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Wales
Pembroke College, Oxford
Phillips Collection, Washington, USA
Royal College of Art, London
Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany
Staatsgalerie Modern Kunst, Munich, Germany
Stadelches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, Germany
Stadtische Kunstgalerie, Bochum , Germany
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Tate Collection, London
Temple Newsam House, Leeds
The Arts Council of Great Britain, London
The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, USA
The National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa, Canada
The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland
Univeristy Art Museum, Berkeley, USA
University of East Anglia, Norwich
Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, USA
Vatican Museum of Modern Art, Rome, Italy
Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, Germany
Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Ludwig Collection, Cologne, Germany
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, USA


Selected Publications


Alley, Ronald and Rothenstein, John, Francis Bacon, Thames & Hudson, 1964

Davies, Hugh and Yard, Sally, Bacon, Abbeville, 1986

Deleuze, Gilles, Francis Bacon, Logique de la Sensation (2 vol), La Différence, 1994

Farson, Daniel, The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon, Century, 1993

Gale, Matthew & Stephens, Chris, Francis Bacon, Tate Publishing, 2008

Hammer, Martine & Bailey, Paul, Francis Bacon: Portraits and Heads, National Galleries of Scotland, 2005

Harrison, Martin, Francis Bacon: Paintings from the Estate 1980-1991, Faggionato Fine Art, 1999

Kundera, Milan, Bacon, Portraits et Auto-portraits, Les Belles Lettres, 1996

Leiris, Michel, Francis Bacon, Full Face and in Profile, Phaidon, 1983

Peppiat, Michael, Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997

Russell, John, Francis Bacon (World of Art), Thames & Hudson, 1993

Schmied, Wieland, Francis Bacon, Commitment and Conflict, Prestel, 1996

Sollers, Philippe, Les Passions de Francis Bacon, Gallimard, 1996

Sylvestor, David, and Harrison, Martin, Francis Bacon: Studying Form, Faggionato Fine Art in association with the Estate of Francis Bacon, 2005

Sylvester, David, Interviews with Francis Bacon, Thames & Hudson, 1987

Sylvester, David, Interviews with Francis Bacon: 1962-1979 (New and enlarged edition), Thames and Hudson, 1980

Trucchi, Lorenza, Francis Bacon, Abrams, 1975










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