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Francis Bacon - The Violence of the Real
Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait of van Gogh VI, 1957, Arts Council Collection, South Bank Centre, London. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2006.
DUSSELDORF, GERMANY.- Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20 presents Francis Bacon - The Violence of the Real, on view through January 7, 2007. Dramatic depictions of human forms - writhing painfully, dissolving, wrestling or engulfing one another, seated or in motion - are ubiquitous in the work of Francis Bacon (1909-1992), the most eminent 20th century British painter. Like no other artist of his generation, Bacon scenarized the ordeal of the vulnerable, defenselessly exposed body. His individuals are usually alone, isolated from their surroundings, trapped in empty, windowless rooms or behind the bars of cages. Bacon’s figures act on stage-like platforms, doubled over in torment, sliding into formlessness. By wiping, scratching, and erasures, Bacon converted the picture surface into a field of perpetually irritating activity - and in the process, created images of great forcefulness, sensibility, and beauty. At the center of this retrospectively conceived exhibition will be Bacon’s disturbing yet captivating studies of the human figure. The presentation will consists of approximately 60 works, among them both of Bacons owned by the Kunstsammlung since 1964 and 1986 respectively: Lying Figure No. 3 of 1959, and Man in Blue V of 1954. The accent will be on the painterly expression of a still prevalent sense of the loss of stable identity, and on a self that is vulnerable to “invisible forces” and threatened by deprivation of any secure place in the world.

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