Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
September 30, 2016, to January 8, 2017The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez, an exhibition of almost 80 works including some of the most important and yet least exhibited paintings by this British artist born in Ireland, alongside the works of the classic masters from French and Spanish culture who played a huge role in his career. Transgressive in both is life and his art, Bacon broke down many barriers that were deeply entrenched at the time, placing human beings in front of a mirror in which we could see ourselves in a raw, violent way.
Portraits, nudes, landscapes, bullfighting... the exhibition offers a new perspective on Bacon’s oeuvre by highlighting the influence that French and Spanish cultures exerted on his art.
Bacon created a new universe of images conceived via literature, film, art, and his own life using a totally unique language, reflecting human vulnerability with utter rawness.
Bacon’s nudes tend to feature isolated figures in everyday poses which the painter transformed by twisting their bodies into almost animal-like shapes, thus reinventing the portrait.
Francis Bacon Three Studies for a Crucifixion , 1962 Oil on canvas, three panels 198.1 x 144.8 cm, each panel Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 64.1700 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved DACS/VEGAP, Bilbao, 2016
Francis Bacon Three Studies of Figures on Beds, 1972 Oil and pastel on canvas Three panels, 198 x 147.5 cm each Esther Grether Family Collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS/VEGAP, Bilbao, 2016 Photo: Bildpunkt AG, Münchenstein
Francis Bacon Study for Self- Portrait , 1976 Oil and pastel on canvas 198 x 147.5 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales, Purchased 1978 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved DACS/VEGAP, Bilbao, 2016 Photo: © Jenni Carter, Viscopy
Francis Bacon Portrait of Michel Leiris , 1976 Oil on canvas 34 x 29 cm Centre Pompidou, Paris – Musée national d’art moderne. Centre de création industri elle, Donation Louise et Michel Leiris, 1984 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved DACS/VEGAP, Bilbao, 2016 Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM -CCI, Dist. RMN Grand Palais / Bertrand Prévost
Francis Bacon Study for Self- Portrait , 1981 Oil, pastel and dry transfer lettering on canvas 198 x 147.5 cm Private collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved DACS/VEGAP, Bilbao, 2016 Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
Francis Bacon Study of a Bull , 1991 Oil, aerosol paint and dust on canvas 198 x 147.5 cm Private collection, London © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved DACS/VEGAP, Bilbao, 2016 Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
El Greco Saint Francis in Prayer Before the Crucifix , ca. 1585 Oil on canvas 105.5 x 86.5 cm Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
Diego Velázquez The Buffoon el Primo , 1644 Oil on canvas 106.5 x 82.5 cm Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Pablo Picasso Composition ( Female Figure at the Beach ) [ Composition ( Figure féminine sur une plage )], 1927 Oil on canvas 18.8 x 17.6 cm Private collection © Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid 2016
Alberto Giacometti Bust of a Man in a frame ( Buste d’homme dans un cadre ), ca. 1946 Oil on canvas 28.1 x 22.4 cm Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris