Monday, June 27, 2016

Francis Bacon: Creating Order From Chaos

By Stephen Smith
Is this Bacon’s best pope? … Study after Velázquez, 1950. Photograph: © The Estate of Francis Bacon
UNITED KINGDOM---An unsparing observer of the human condition, Francis Bacon was as unsentimental about death as he was about life. Bacon had little use for the arts establishment. Despite the lack of an art college education, or perhaps because of it, he emerged self-made. Bacon was obsessed with Velázquez’s famous study of Pope Innocent X and made variations of it until 1965. He told the critic David Sylvester that he regretted destroying what he regarded as his finest attempt after Velázquez. But perhaps he didn’t destroy it, and perhaps Harrison has found it: a figure in papal purple, legs crossed in a chair or throne, pinioned within a thicket of orange bars and roaring his head off. [link]