Francis Bacon’s Scream of Genius

New York | 16 May

“I’ve always hoped to put over things as directly and rawly as I possibly can” remarked Francis Bacon, and his haunting, visceral works remain the perfect embodiment of postwar existential angst. In this episode of Masterworks, discover the artist’s obsessions, inspirations, and method through excerpts from his iconic interviews with British art critic and curator David Sylvester. Bacon’s words inform our understanding of sensational paintings like Study for a Head, the very best of six portrait heads completed by the artist in 1952. This extraordinary work conveys Francis Bacon’s most celebrated and recognizable iconography and immediately presages his magnum opus – the Pope paintings produced in the following year. As such, this work occupies a critical position at a moment that would come to define Bacon as a master. Study for a Head will be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction as part of the Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection to benefit the Friday Foundation. (16 May | New York)

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.