Francis Bacon: In the Frame

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Launch Slideshow

Opening at the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart on 7 October, Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms will examine the use of architectural structures and spaces in Bacon's work – long recognised, but rarely researched in such detail. This collection of over thirty works will look at Bacon's fascination with the relationship of the human body to the space it inhabits, and his exploration of form and movement within a given structure. Many iconic works from the artist's career will be shown, with a renewed focus on his compositional tools, and the recurring symbolism and themes that Bacon addressed through his practice. Click ahead to see a selection of highlights from the exhibition.

Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms

7 October 2016 – 8 January 2017   Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart                         

Francis Bacon: In the Frame

  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS, London, 2016.
    Francis Bacon, After Muybridge – Woman Emptying a Bowl of Water and Paralytic Child on All Fours, 1965.
    Bacon was long-fascinated with the work of Eadweard Muybridge, whose photographic investigations in to movement in human and animals. Muybridge’s 1899 book Animals in Motion was a comprehensive study that informed many visual artists, allowing them to produce accurate anatomical drawings.

  • Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS, London, 2016.
    Francis Bacon, Chimpanzee, 1955.
    Although he was most famous for his depictions of the human form, Chimpanzee is one of several works that Bacon made in the course of his career in which he focussed on animals. 

  • Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS, London, 2016.
    Francis Bacon, Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne Standing in a Street in Soho, 1967.
    Artist Isabel Rawsthorne was a close friend and contemporary of Bacon and he painted her many times throughout their friendship. Though like almost all of his portraits, he preferred to paint from photographs of his chosen subject rather than from life.

  • Tate © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS, London, 2016.
    Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait, 1952.
    One of Bacon's most famous portraits, this unsettling image of a fraught, screaming head is full of anguish, and gives the impression of frantic motion blur. Bacon painted directly on to unprimed canvas and in this particular work used sand mixed with oil paint to add texture to the surface.  

  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York/SCALA, Florence/The Estate of Francis Bacon.
    Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait VII, 1953.
    Bacon revisited the image of the Pope in several paintings. Though each bears Bacon's trademark twisted, abstracted forms, the religious imagery is still reconisable to the viewer.


  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/DACS, London, 2016.
    Francis Bacon, Triptych, 1967.
    Bacon used architectural structures to frame his subjects and provide a context in which his figures would sit. Much like a stage framing the actors in theatrical scenario, the rigidity of these forms contrast with the contorted figures in motion that Bacon was so famous for.

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