Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Francis Bacon Sells for $126 Million at Christie's London

From ARTINFO Feb. 15, 2012

A Francis Bacon reclining nude sold at Christie's London for $126,504,477 or 80,576,100 pounds. Other high bids were for Christopher Wool’s , enamel-on-aluminum word painting, “Untitled,” from 1990, spelling out the word FOOL, sold for a record £4.91 million ($7.71 million) and  Gilbert & George’s red-hued, early mixed-media piece in 16 parts from 1975, “Bloody Life No.13.” The winning bid was £1.27 million ($2 million) (est. £700,000-1 million). "Another high bid was for an undiscovered Lucian Freud ink-and-tempera on paper, “Boat, Connemara” from August 1948, considered Freud’s only landscape executed on site in Ireland, sold to London dealer Stephen Ongpin for £657,250 ($1.03 million) (est. £200-300,000)." To read the full article, go to ARTINFO.

Books about Francis Bacon can be found in the Art Collection and the Literature Division.Click on images to connect to our catalog.

One of five children, Francis Bacon was born in Dublin to English parents in 1909. By the late twenties, he had settled in London and was making a name for himself as a furniture designer.

After Bacon's death in 1992, a team of archaeologists deconstructed his entire studio and reconstructed it at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. The contents thereof, about 7500 items, provided an unprecedented insight into his working methods. Among the great morass were many reprints and photographs that had been folded, torn, blurred, smeared with paint-colored fingerprints, and generally obsessed over, not the least of which were several copies of Velasquez's Pope Innocent X, the impetus for Bacon's famed screaming popes. How, then, have the Old Masters influenced Bacon? The tradition of art becomes prism-like in this lush exhibition catalog in which freelance curator Steffen and other contributing writers explore Bacon's relationship with Picasso and Alberto Giacometti and juxtapose his art with the likes of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Michelangelo. The result is a revealing look at the artist's complex relationship with both tradition and innovation. (Review from Library Journal).

"When Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion was exhibited in 1945, Francis Bacon (1909-1992) instantly became the most controversial painter in the country. By the end of his life, his status as one of the giants of modern art was established, as was his reputation for hard drinking, heavy gambling and sado-masochistic homosexuality. Andrew Brighton casts fresh light on Bacon's formation as an artist in gay and aristocratic bohemian London circles. He locates Bacon at the core of contesting ideas and values, while firmly grounding his reading of Bacon's work in an understanding of his working methods and technique. Penetrating the seeming horror of Bacon's painting, this book reveals the ideas, the beliefs and the life that formed one of the most successful artists of the twentieth century."

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