FRANCIS BACON "MICHEL LEIRIS" ETCHING, 1976
Francis Bacon (1909-1992) is one of the most distinctive, provocative, and influential painters of the 20th century.
His singular aesthetic was a violent intersection between abstraction and expressionistic portraiture. While the subjects in his paintings were often identified, distinctive facial features were typically smeared and distorted, often reflecting their inner turmoil or the artist's conflicting emotions related to the sitter.
"Portrait of Michel Leiris" depicts the artist's close friend, who was a prominent French surrealist writer and anthropologist. The work is based on Bacon's oil painting of the same name from 1976; which is currently held by the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris.
This work is a paradigm of Bacon's style. Psychologically charged, Bacon's portraits often took inspiration from personal experiences, frequently depicting friends, lovers, and those closest to the artist. Portraiture was revived in Britain in the 1960's and Francis Bacon was at the forefront of this wave of innovation and representation.
In this work, the sitter is rendered through frenetic swirls and sweeping strokes of color that effectively distort the subject's facial features. The dynamic composition is anchored by the man's right eye, which is left intact, offering a focal point amidst the tumultuous surroundings. Francis Bacon is arguably the immediate successor to Edvard Munch's iconic "The Scream" from 1893.
Today, Bacon's canvases fetch astounding prices at auction, achieving a record of $142.4 M in 2014.
Caviar20 recommends the film Love is the Devil; a dark biography of Bacon's life starring a young Daniel Craig and Tilda Swinton.
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"Portrait of Michel Leiris"
Colour etching and aquatint on Arches wove paper
Signed and numbered by artist
From an edition of 100
14"H 12"W (work)
28.75"H 23.5"W (framed)
Minor wear to frame
Very good condition.
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