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Francis Bacon and the Tradition of Art based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Fortunate were the ones who were privileged to see the exhibition FRANCIS BACON AND THE TRADITION OF ART in Vienna at the Kunsthistorisches Museum or at the Foundation Beyeler in Basel in 2003 and 2004. What an experience that must have been. Curator Barbara Steffen assembled on of the most comprehensive surveys of the works of Bacon and presented them in context with the ideas and works of art that influenced Bacon's genius. In Steffen's words 'This exhibit is the first opportunity to examine his works side by side with the artists who inspired him, and in this way to cast at least some light on how he conceived and devised his paintings'. The legacy of this exhibition is well preserved in this stunning 'catalogue' book of the same title as the exhibition. The dignity of the effort is suggested in the numerous essays that accompany the book, essays by Steffen herself (The Papal Portraits, Veils and Striations as Motifs of Isolation, The Scream, The Cage Motif, The Representation of the Body: Velasquez - Bacon, Mirrors and Reflections) Verena Gamper (Bacon's Realism after Van Gogh, The Motif of the Crucifixion in Triptych Format, The Ambivalent Function of the Shadow) Olivier Berggruen (Bacon, Picasso and Surrealism, The Representative Portrait) Margarita Cappock (The Round, Bacon and Ingres, The Motif of Meat and Flesh) Alexandra Hennig (Francis Bacon: Portraiture After Representation). The quality of writing is scholarly and immensely readable. It is important to list these essays because they so well describe the flavor of this book and of the exhibition's thesis. But the glory of the book is in the presentation of myriad photographs, reproductions of the works of all of the artists who informed Bacon's oeuvre, photographs of Bacon and his studio and friends, and the drawings and paintings of Bacon, many in gatefold presentation. The color reproduction is excellent and there are generous samplings of details to punctuate the writers' points. Though there are many books about Bacon and of Bacon's paintings, few compare to this unique stance and enormity of information. Appendices to the book include the Interviews with Bacon by David Sylvester and by Michel Archimbaud as well as a fine biography, catalogue of exhibitions and bibliography. Even for those whose library shelves bulge with books on Bacon, this magnificent volume is indispensable. Highly recommended. Grady Harp