Stern writes: "Having not really focused on Bacon’s work in quite a while I was blown away by how fresh, shocking, and incredibly beautiful the paintings are... The paintings in the exhibit reflect a change of mood in Bacon’s work over time. Work of the earlier decades portray the agonies of man, masses of ectoplasm, flesh, bone, and loneliness, whereas his later works give way to calmer psycho-landscapes. Gone are the piles of flesh, replaced by a vision more stripped to its essentials, both in terms of painting and psychology."
Exhibition curator Anthony Bond writes about Francis Bacon: Five Decades at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, on view through February 24, 2013.
Bond writes: "The premise of the exhibition has been to foreground the facture of the paintings rather than presenting the narratives that a thematic installation privileges. Bacon himself hated the idea of narrative in painting but more importantly the structure of his paint changed dramatically roughly every ten years and this hang celebrates these often uncanny moves. The unusual materiality of the paintings can be the most exciting aspect of a reconsideration of his work. Bacon’s painstaking paint application of the mid-1940s contrasts strikingly with the open dry overall brushwork of the 1950s where figure and field dissolve and bleed into each other... In the following decades Bacon continued to invent new ways of making this happen; applying acrylics and oil paint with the brush, palette knife, fabrics, rollers, spray cans, applying the lids of paint tins and tubes to create circular motifs, incorporating dust and sand."
White notes that "The question of how painting, and representation in general, can make objects, ideas or impressions come into being can hardly be considered specific to these artists' time. Yet by the 1970s... these questions had become more pertinent for figurative painting, which sought a new identity in an artistic environment dominated by conceptualism. This exhibition reveals how the medium of painting prevailed despite the challenges of the avant-garde: how these artists were engaged in a dialogue about representation that did not ignore, yet operated separately from, the aesthetic norm."
Laura Gilbert reviews the exhibition Soutine/Bacon on view at Helly Nahmad Gallery through June 18, 2011. Gilbert writes: "Like a good museum show, it's tightly focused. It pairs paintings by Francis Bacon... with those of Chaim Soutine... whom Bacon considered a 'formative' influence -- a fresh context for both."
Kyle Chayka highlights an interesting documentary film on the painter Francis Bacon in which Bacon "talks through one of his most iconic works [Painting, 1946] and explains how he makes paintings. The documentary features a series of conversations between Bacon and interviewer Melvyn Bragg." Bacon also speaks about Ingres and there is an interlude that splices Bacon's screaming figures with similar imagery from films."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.