PopUp Painting’s ‘artist of the week’ is Francis Bacon.
Francis Bacon (b.1909) was an Irish-born, British figurative painter known for his bold, grotesque and emotionally charged work.
The artist took inspiration from Surrealism, film, photography and the canon of Old Masters. Bacon’s distinctive style of painting that depicted the bleakness of the human condition struck a chord in Post-War Britain and won the artist recognition as one of the most important and poignant artists of the avant-garde. Much of Bacon’s work focused on portraits of lone figures painted in a painterly, abstract manner with a flat nondescript background. Often the figures were housed inside steel cages, adding an existentialist feeling to the works. Despite this bleak outlook, the artist was known as being highly sociable and charismatic, moving in the social circles of the trendy Soho of the Sixties. The artist used many of the friends and acquaintances he met along the way as subjects to paint. Bacon often worked in series and many of his works came in the format of triptychs and diptychs.
From 1971, following the suicide of his partner George Dyer, Bacon’s work became even more sombre, inward-looking and preoccupied with the passage of time and death. The artist himself died in 1992. A preserved version of Francis Bacon’s studio is permanently on show at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, Ireland.
In 2013 ‘Three Studies of Lucien Freud’ set the world record as the most expensive piece of art sold at auction, selling for $142,405,000, until exceeded by the sale of a Picasso in 2015.