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Francis Bacon

Late Paintings

November 7–December 12, 2015
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Installation view (left: Blood on Pavement, c. 1984; right: Second Version Triptych 1944, 1988) Artworks © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015., photo by Rob McKeeverReproduction, including downloading of—works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Installation view (left: Blood on Pavement, c. 1984; right: Second Version Triptych 1944, 1988)

Artworks © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015., photo by Rob McKeever
Reproduction, including downloading of—works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Installation view (left: Study for Self-Portrait, 1982; right: Painting, 1978) Artworks © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015., photo by Rob McKeeverReproduction, including downloading of—works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Installation view (left: Study for Self-Portrait, 1982; right: Painting, 1978)

Artworks © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015., photo by Rob McKeever
Reproduction, including downloading of—works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Works Exhibited

Francis Bacon, Sand Dune, 1983 Oil and pastel on canvas, 78 × 58 inches (198 × 147.5 cm). Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Beyeler Collection© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015, photo by Peter Schibli, reproduction, including downloading of—works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Francis Bacon, Sand Dune, 1983

Oil and pastel on canvas, 78 × 58 inches (198 × 147.5 cm). Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Beyeler Collection
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015, photo by Peter Schibli, reproduction, including downloading of—works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Francis Bacon, Triptych, 1991 Oil on canvas, Each panel: 78 × 58 ⅛ inches (198.1 × 147.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. William A. M. Burden Fund and Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest Fund (both by exchange), 2003© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015, photo by Thomas Griesel, reproduction, including downloading of—works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Francis Bacon, Triptych, 1991

Oil on canvas, Each panel: 78 × 58 ⅛ inches (198.1 × 147.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. William A. M. Burden Fund and Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest Fund (both by exchange), 2003
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015, photo by Thomas Griesel, reproduction, including downloading of—works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

About

Gagosian New York is pleased to present “Francis Bacon: Late Paintings.” This will be the third exhibition of Bacon's work following “Francis Bacon: Triptychs” (Gagosian London, 2006) and “Isabel and Other Intimate Strangers: Portraits by Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon” (Gagosian New York, 2008).

Encompassing more than twenty paintings that Bacon made in London and Paris during the last two decades of his life, this will be the first in-depth exploration of the innovations in his late work.

In Bacon's art, modernity and tradition converge. His ectoplasmic figures strain like savage forces of nature against shallow fields of intense color and strict armatures that bind them to the picture plane. In his gut-wrenching serialization of the human form and its sensations, he shows himself to be the unflinching witness of the hysterical reality of bodies and the primal fear of those who inhabit them.

In his late paintings, Bacon refined themes that had long obsessed him. He quoted reflexively from his oeuvre, reworking subjects to strip them to the bare essentials. In his last act, Bacon found inspiration in the portraits of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. He sprayed paint to achieve a chiaroscuro entirely different from the visceral brushwork of the 1940s to 1970s, ingeniously redressing the brute force of earlier portraits and figure studies in light of Ingres's delicate, fleshy curves. Distilled figures lurk in voids that oscillate between bleak shadows and riots of color. Charged with implied narrative, Bacon's stark paintings of self-representation mark significant departures in his technique.

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