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Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma Paperback – September 1, 2009
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This frank portrait of Anglo-Irish painter Francis Bacon (1909-92) contains enough juicy details about his lurid sex life and hard partying to satisfy even the most avid consumers of art-world gossip. But art critic Michael Peppiatt, who knew Bacon personally, also provides insightful analyses of his paintings and the nerve their anguished subject matter and technique struck in the uneasy years following World War II. In addition, Peppiatt illuminates the autobiographical roots of powerful works such as Pope I, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, and In Memory of George Dyer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
These two books enrich the already substantial Bacon bibliography with different but equally successful approaches. While Peppiatt's biography fleshes out, with lucidity and scholarship, biographical and contextual details heretofore unexplored, Bacon: Portraits and Self-Portraits is a lavishly produced treat with a sharp focus, carefully chosen reproductions, and inspired writing. Peppiatt (editor of Art International) brings both a critical and a personal perspective to his subject, as he was a close friend of the artist. Bacon's haunting images almost beg for psychological exploration; likewise, one is tempted to search for elements of the artist's hidden, exceptional life (and lifestyle) in his work. The new information Peppiatt provides about Bacon's early years enlarges the already complex portrait of the artist, and the interplay of persona and paintings adds up to a compelling and readable study. Bacon: Portraits and Self-Portraits is composed of Bacon's representations of people?ranging from Lucian Freud to Mick Jagger?with many details and photographs that unveil the remarkable likenesses retained in studies that on the surface are gross distortions. Kundera's essay explores links with Picasso and Beckett and is wonderfully perceptive, while Belgian art historian Borel's prose is provocative?albeit a bit ponderous, possibly in part because of the translation. Both titles are highly recommended for 20th-century art collections, although the latter is more of a luxury.?Heidi Martin Winston,
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
My favorite part of the book has to do with George Dyer. George was an exceptionally handsome and endearing figure, and according to myth (as set forth in film "Love Is the Devil") the relationship started when George, your typical bungling burglar, broke into Bacon's studio and got caught by the painter. More than lucky this was for Bacon, who liked his men rough around the edges, and any criminal connection on their part was an added bonus. Bacon grew up among the upper classes but preferred to mix with East End types, which here in the States would transfer as "blue collar lower middle class." George Dyer became a muse for Bacon, and his persona turns up in many of his greatest paintings. In fact, one of Bacon's most accomplished triptychs is a portrayal of George Dyer's last living day while staying at a French hotel, immediately prior to a huge Bacon exhibition there. George died as the result of an overdose bought on by depression, and when the exhibition opened the next day Francis Bacon famously soldiered on as if nothing had happened. But in all reality, Mr. Bacon carried the heavy burden of guilt for George's death, which was essentially a suicide, and those feelings inevitably fueled the many George centric panels that followed.
Anyone interested in interpreting the not so transparent work of Francis Bacon needs to read this book. Have enjoyed it thoroughly and have read it multiple times. Actually, this book is so dense with insight, I would venture to say a second reading is all but required.
My knowledge of Bacon was quite limited and with the recent publicity afforded to the sales at Sotheby's of Bacons paintings this gives the layman some insight into the background of this amazing talent and understanding of his process
His life wasn't boring by any means so the book makes for fascinating reading.
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