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Francis Bacon

Couplings

June 6–August 3, 2019
Grosvenor Hill, London

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Installation video

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view with Francis Bacon, Two Figures on a Couch (1967) Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view with Francis Bacon, Two Figures on a Couch (1967)

Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view with Francis Bacon, Sleeping Figure (1959) Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view with Francis Bacon, Sleeping Figure (1959)

Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Works Exhibited

Francis Bacon, Two Figures with a Monkey, 1973 Oil on canvas, 78 × 58 ⅛ inches (198 × 147.5 cm)© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Francis Bacon, Two Figures with a Monkey, 1973

Oil on canvas, 78 × 58 ⅛ inches (198 × 147.5 cm)
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Francis Bacon, Two Figures, 1953 Oil on canvas, 60 ⅛ × 45 ⅞ inches (152.5 × 116.5 cm)© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Francis Bacon, Two Figures, 1953

Oil on canvas, 60 ⅛ × 45 ⅞ inches (152.5 × 116.5 cm)
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

About

The moment a number of figures become involved, you immediately come on to the storytelling aspect of the relationships between figures. And that immediately sets up a kind of narrative. I always hope to be able to make a great number of figures without a narrative.
—Francis Bacon

Gagosian is pleased to present Couplings, an exhibition of Francis Bacon’s double-figure paintings.

Bacon’s disturbing images—his portrayals of friends and fellow artists, and the deformations and stylistic distortions of classical subjects—radically altered the genre of figurative painting in the twentieth century. In Bacon’s paintings, the human presence is evoked sometimes viscerally, at other times more fleetingly, in the form of a shadow or a blurred, watchful figure. In certain instances, the portrayal takes the form of a composite in which male and female bodily traits are transposed or fused. This selective exhibition explores a theme that preoccupied Bacon throughout his career: the relationship between two people, both physical and psychological.

At the heart of the exhibition are two of the most uninhibited images that Bacon ever painted: Two Figures (1953) and Two Figures in the Grass (1954). These interrelated works have not been seen publicly together since the major retrospective of Bacon’s work at the Grand Palais, Paris, in 1971. After completing Two Figures in the Grass, Bacon did not return to the subject until 1967, the year that homosexual acts in private were decriminalized in England and Wales. That same year he painted Two Figures on a Couch (1967), which was last exhibited in London in 1968 and is also included in Couplings.

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Press

Bolton & Quinn 
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Erica Bolton
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Daisy Taylor
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Gagosian
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News

Installation view, Francis Bacon: Couplings, Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London, June 6–August 3, 2019. Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce

Tour

Francis Bacon
Couplings

Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 6pm
Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London

Gagosian director and art historian Richard Calvocoressi will lead a tour of the exhibition Francis Bacon: Couplings at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London. The exhibition of Bacon’s double-figure paintings explores a theme that preoccupied the artist throughout his career: the relationship between two people, both physical and psychological. The event has reached capacity. To join the wait list, contact londontours@gagosian.com

Installation view, Francis Bacon: Couplings, Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London, June 6–August 3, 2019. Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photo: Mike Bruce