Francis Bacon 1977, Figure Witing Reflected in a Mirror,(c) 2012 Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / ARS, New York / DACS, London
It is your last day to catch what many (including myself) believe to be the best painting Francis Bacon ever painted, "Figure Writing Reflected in a Mirror," at the Portland Art Museum
. I'll have a major essay for you soon to ahem "reflect upon," but to give you short summation why it is so important;
1) The painting depicts George Dyer, Bacon's former lover who committed suicide on the eve of his first major museum retrospective in 1971.
2) Considering the difficult subject matter the paint handling is superbly confident yet conflicted. This gives it a revealing personal quality you don't get with the screaming popes even or even with the self portraits.
3)This painting marks a maturation point in his career. The composition was bolder, more poetic and introspective for an artist who up until his 1978 show prized obfuscation above all else. In many ways this double portrait of his former lover set the stage for Bacon's more more introspective later self portraits.
4)Bacon was a wordsmith of considerable gifts and this is his only painting that actually depicts a figure writing (I'll expand this history considerably in the essay).
If you enjoy Storm Tharp's work
you will have missed and incredible opportunity in not seeing this painting... so go.
Jeremy Reed, a British poet and essayist and friend of Francis Bacon, wrote a remarkable play about Bacon's relationship with George Dyer. It is the centerpiece of Publication Studio's new book, FOUR POETS AND A PLAY, the first North American publication of Reed's remarkable work. J.G. Ballard said "Reed's talent is almost extraterrestrial in its brilliance." You should check this book out. http://www.publicationstudio.biz/books/195
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