Item description for Francis Bacon and the Tradition of Art by Wilfried Seipel, Barbara Steffen & Christoph Vitali...
This exhibition catalogue is not a retrospective but rather an examination for the first time of the artist's work within a network of relationships and influences from the Old Masters to the artists of the twentieth century.
The eminent English painter Francis Bacon (19091992) is known for his brutal, haunting and grotesque portraits of man and beast. In this eyeopening study Bacon stands besides artists like Velazquez, Rembrandt, Titian, Ingres, Degas, Schiele, and Van Gogh - his real sources. To support this thesis, the text draws connections between Bacon and his predecessors according to themes: Bacon's papal portraits, the Motif of the Scream, Bacon and Surrealism, Mirrors and Reflections, the Cage Motif. This sumptuously illustrated book offers a firsttime study of a modernist's work in relation to the masterpieces of art history.
Exhibition schedule: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna October 15, 2003 - January 18, 2004 Fondation Beyeler, Basel, February 8, 2004 - June 20, 2004
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 9.5" Height: 11" Weight: 5.15 lbs.
Release Date Apr 17, 2004
ISBN 8884917212 ISBN13 9788884917218
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More About Wilfried Seipel, Barbara Steffen & Christoph Vitali
Freelance curator Barbara Steffen lives in Vienna and New York, and worked for many years at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Francis Bacon and the Tradition of Art?
Amazing artist..... Aug 31, 2007
Francis Bacon has been called the greatest poet of the second half of the 20th century, and even those who deeply dislike his work find it memorable and horribly impressive. He is an artist obsessed by the horror of existence and the terrible vulnerability of being. He professed to see no hope, and yet his very life is a denial of such despair, because creativity can never really come without some belief in the meaning of what is created. Certain images recur again and again in Bacon's paintings, and the best known is that of the screaming pope, after Velazquez's great portrait of Pope Innocent X. Bacon refused to study Velazquez's portrait, preferring instead to paint from his memory of that painting's authoritarian majesty. On the front of this text (the pope's image) Bacon has pushed down to the bottom half of the canvas and squashed the pope low in his chair. Around him, Bacon has built the suggestion of a cage or cell. He has marked him out with an arrow, as if this clenched and tortured image was an exhibit in the artist's chamber of horrors. Bacon has also drawn from another famous image, Rembrandt's great Carcass of Beef, and has hung the animal's flayed and bloody flesh on either side of this human animal. Rembrandt painted his carcass with reverence; Bacon must see these carcasses as raw meat-the pope as he will be-and dangles them, almost insouciantly, behind the papal chair. What a fabulously interesting, tortured artist----1909-1992-Ireland/England. Fantastic text!!!
A great master learns from the great masters Apr 11, 2007
This book illustrates an exhibition held in 2004 at the Beyeler foundation in Basel, Switzerland. The subject is to confront Bacon's paintings to the great masters who influenced him (Velasquez,Titian, Goya, Ingres, Picasso, Giacometti...)and who were omnipresent in his studio through photos of works, often in black and white, pinned on the walls. Many illustrations show that nothing Bacon painted sprang out of the blue and that he was a keen student of art history. The book shows how he transcends what his predecessors already expressed (passion, anxiety, the absurdity of life, the frailty of the human being...) and why he was one of the most powerful artists of the XXth century.
not what i expected Mar 6, 2007
there are a lot of writings in this book, and a lot of other's art, but as far as francis bacon goes, if you want a book of his works, this is not a good book to get. the majority of the images are of all kinds of artists that they talk about in contrast with bacon's work. i was disappointed as well to the images they chose of bacon's work. not among my favorite at all. its a well made book, but not what i wanted, and now will have to buy another book souly on francis bacon
Just delicious! Jan 9, 2007
Well, that's what we want in an art book- sensuality of paint, see the brushmarks, really good reproductions. I really enjoy this book. This is a good chronicle of Bacon pushing the envelope of Painting- we see the manipulation of space and form as well as the darker side his subjects will explore. I've never read the print part, I look at pictures and draw my own conclusions when dealing with books on serious painting. The reproductions are super, and well presented, so I highly reccomend.
A Comprehensive Analysis of the Influences on the Art of Francis Bacon Jan 20, 2006
Fortunate were the ones who were privileged to see the exhibition FRANCIS BACON AND THE TRADITION OF ART in Vienna at the Kunsthistorisches Museum or at the Foundation Beyeler in Basel in 2003 and 2004. What an experience that must have been. Curator Barbara Steffen assembled on of the most comprehensive surveys of the works of Bacon and presented them in context with the ideas and works of art that influenced Bacon's genius. In Steffen's words 'This exhibit is the first opportunity to examine his works side by side with the artists who inspired him, and in this way to cast at least some light on how he conceived and devised his paintings'.
The legacy of this exhibition is well preserved in this stunning 'catalogue' book of the same title as the exhibition. The dignity of the effort is suggested in the numerous essays that accompany the book, essays by Steffen herself (The Papal Portraits, Veils and Striations as Motifs of Isolation, The Scream, The Cage Motif, The Representation of the Body: Velazquez - Bacon, Mirrors and Reflections); Verena Gamper (Bacon's Realism after Van Gogh, The Motif of the Crucifixion in Triptych Format, The Ambivalent Function of the Shadow); Olivier Berggruen (Bacon, Picasso and Surrealism, The Representative Portrait); Margarita Cappock (The Round, Bacon and Ingres, The Motif of Meat and Flesh); Alexandra Hennig (Francis Bacon: Portraiture After Representation). The quality of writing is scholarly and immensely readable. It is important to list these essays because they so well describe the flavor of this book and of the exhibition's thesis.
But the glory of the book is in the presentation of myriad photographs, reproductions of the works of all of the artists who informed Bacon's oeuvre, photographs of Bacon and his studio and friends, and the drawings and paintings of Bacon, many in gatefold presentation. The color reproduction is excellent and there are generous samplings of details to punctuate the writers' points.
Though there are many books about Bacon and of Bacon's paintings, few compare to this unique stance and enormity of information. Appendices to the book include the Interviews with Bacon by David Sylvester and by Michel Archimbaud as well as a fine biography, catalogue of exhibitions and bibliography. Even for those whose library shelves bulge with books on Bacon, this magnificent volume is indispensable. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, January 06