Biography of Francis Bacon
The most influential and original figurative painter of the second half of 20th century, Francis Bacon's distorted abstract forms capture the traumatized post-war era. Mainly concentrating on portraiture, Bacon, a renowned late-night reveler, depicted the members of the bars and clubs of London's Soho neighborhood. These larger than life characters were portrayed as isolated and tormented, imprisoned in the cages of their own existential crisis.
Born in 1909 and growing up in Ireland, Francis Bacon felt oppressed by his strict upbringing and belligerent father, all the more exasperated by his then burgeoning homosexuality. His first forays into art were actually in designing furniture, the forms of which would feature in many of his paintings. It was not until he painted Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion in 1944 that critics began giving him attention and Bacon began a period of unparalleled development as an artist. By 1954 Bacon was exhibiting in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. After the death of his lover, George Dyer in 1971, Bacon's art became more reflexive and focused on the passage of time and death. This period marked a particularly successful time for Bacon, and he completed many of his greatest masterpieces. In 1971, and to the astonishment of the art community, Bacon was to receive a retrospective in the Grand Palais, Paris—an exceptional honor for a living painter. The 80s would see the Bacon simplifying his pictorial language; his figurative work would often allude to human form rather than always depicting it.
In I985, the Tate Gallery, London held a major solo show featuring 125 works and in 1988 the Soviet Union's first major exhibition dedicated to a Western artist was a Bacon retrospective. Francis Bacon died in 1992 as one of the world's most sought after artists, his auction results today reach huge amounts. It is staggering that it is still possible to possess a limited edition work from an artist of this stature.