Paris exhibition artfully unites Picasso and Bacon

4th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 4 (AFP) - Without Picasso, Francis Bacon might never have taken up a paintbrush and thus deprived the world of one of the 20th century giants of the art world, according to a new Paris exhibition.

PARIS, March 4 (AFP) - Without Picasso, Francis Bacon might never have taken up a paintbrush and thus deprived the world of one of the 20th century giants of the art world, according to a new Paris exhibition.

Bacon was just 18 when on a visit to Paris in 1927 he experienced an epiphany on seeing Pablo Picasso's drawings at the Paul Rosenberg Gallery.

"They made a great impression on me," he wrote later. "I thought afterwards, well, perhaps I could draw as well."

The exhibition "Bacon Picasso: A Life of Images" at the Picasso museum in the French capital has drawn together about 100 works by the two men to study the interaction of the Spaniard's art on that of the younger Bacon (1909-1992).

The exhibition covers the early period of Bacon's work including the triptych "Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion" derived from Picassos "Crucifixion".

"Picasso is the reason why I paint. He is the father figure, who gave me the wish to paint," Bacon once said.

He added that the Spanish painter (1881-1973) "was the first person to produce figurative paintings which overturned the rules of appearance; he suggested appearance without using the usual codes, without respecting the representational truth of form, but using a breath of irrationality instead, to make representation stronger and more direct; so that form could pass directly from the eye to the stomach without going through the brain."

The Paris exhibition includes loans from major public and private collections around the world, has been designed around the major themes common to both artists - Keys/Shadows, Crucifixion, Cries and Nudes.

In the mid-1940s Bacon was to become as Picasso had been during the Spanish Civil War "the man of the era when everything lay in rubble and when crimes and horrors which even the cruelest of imaginations could never have invented lay revealed," wrote the critic Andre Fermigier.

"With perhaps something extra in Bacon, a feeling which might have been specificially English of frustation, solitary misery and unbearable oppression."

Bacon Picasso: A Life of Images runs at the Picasso Museum until May 30, 5 rue de Thorigny, Paris.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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