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Francis Bacon

Paintings of Contradiction

The third Rubens Prize laureate Francis Bacon (1909–1992) is one of the most influential painters of the 20th century. At the center of his work stands the modern human in all of his existential brokenness and social isolation.

Francis Bacon, Study from the Human Body and Portrait, 1988, The Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection, MGKSiegen, © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Whether friends, fellow artists, anonymous models, or public representatives, the people Bacon pictured in his paintings appear either in a state of upheavel or dissolution, driven and compelled by their animal natures. Like no other artist Bacon painted relentless pictures of individuals in need of  safe harbor, who, detached from all social measure, peer out from undetermined vistas.

Late in 2005, Bacon’s large-scale painting “Study for Portrait (Pope)” (1957) from his so-called Pope series had been acquired. To celebrate this grand event the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen presented the entire superb selection of the Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection’s paintings by Bacon.

Five works from the period of 1949 to 1988, complemented by the “Triptychon” (1986/87), on loan from the Marlborough Gallery, London, representatively displayed the various themes that course through this artist’s work.

Generous support was provided by the AXA Art Versicherung.