Francis Bacon's Late Paintings

Paintings from the last two decades of Francis Bacon's life were at Gagosian in December. Many of the images are revisits or refinements of earlier paintings such as Triptych below which is a second version of Three studies for Figures at the base of the Crucification.  Ken Johnson writes for the NYT
The exhibition also offers an opportunity to rethink what kind of artist Bacon was. If your idea of him was formed by the more than 45 versions of the so-called “screaming pope” that he started producing in the early 1950s, you may think of him as a painter of 20th century horror. But is this scathing image of hysteria not also hysterically funny? As his palette brightened from the 1960s on, and as broader areas of pure color set off his smeary, rubbery, cartoonish figures, he started to look more like a painter of mordant comedy than existential tragedy.“Second Version of Triptych 1944” might not seem funny at first, but consider the gray monsters pictured in the middle and right-hand panels. They’re more goofy than scary. The middle one has an egg-shaped body on three, long, pointy stilts; the other resembles a side of beef. Both have long serpentine necks ending in toothy mouths, one grinning, the other either screaming or threatening to bite. They resemble escapees from movies like “Ghostbusters” and “Men in Black.” The kneeling, armless woman in gauzy orange dress in the left-hand panel seems to be warily eyeing them. more
"FRANCIS BACON: Late Paintings"
Installation view (left: Blood on Pavement, c. 1984; right: Second Version Triptych 1944, 1988)
Artworks © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015.


FRANCIS BACON, Triptych, 1991, Oil on canvas
Each panel: 78 × 58 1/8 inches (198.1 × 147.6 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. William A. M. Burden Fund and Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest Fund (both by exchange), 2003.
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015.
"FRANCIS BACON: Late Paintings"
Installation view (left: Study for Self-Portrait, 1982; right: Painting, 1978)
Artworks © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2015.



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