Our last official session before the summer break, and the plan was to visit the Francis Bacon show before having a shared lunch. Here is Bacon with Lord and Lady Sainsbury, his patrons and subjects
Here is the full exhibition text. Most of the images can’t be copied here because of copyright restrictions – which is pretty pointless since they are freely available on the web – just search Francis Bacon and the Masters. Bacon-and-the-Masters-Full-exhibition-text-RS2705
There’s also this useful BBC page which connects to the exhibition. It’s tagline is the one that occurs to me in the Sainsbury Centre: Francis Bacon master or servant. Often the artist’s lot.
It was great to go round with Veronica who talked about the paintings, the juxtapositions of, for example, Rembrandt portraits with Bacon’s of the Sainsbury’s, or Michelangelo torso with a Bacon painting. She described the curatorial process of bringing works of art from the Hermitage in St Petersburg, and putting up the exhibition.
She talked about Isabel Rawsthorne, subject of a Bacon tripych and a famous artist’s muse; as one of the group spotted, Isabel Rawsthorne also appears on a favourite object in the collection, a medal by Giacommetti. It seems that Rawsthorne was a considerable and influential artist in her own right, though this has been obscured in art history. She will be the subject of a forthcoming exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre.
The display was clever, making the connection between artists, shapes, colours, themes in exhibition texts, display geography and carefully constructed sight lines. But it was also dark, with increasingly gloomy background colours. Some people found it depressing to move through the big exhibition, like going deeper and deeper into Bacon’s depression; it was a relief to emerge into the light. It was too wet and windy to picnic but we had a lovely lunch in the Studio, with generous contributions. We also managed to connect the Studio skylight with its flat top in the grass in front of the gallery!
We said goodbye to a longstanding and much valued member of Voyage With Me and Living With Me, who cannot come anymore because she is starting her art access course at City College next September. Congratulations!
People chose their favourite object, something they’d like to take away with them, from the exhibition and the upstairs galleries. Apologies for the varied quality and size of these images.
Soutine’s Lady in Blue: click for a Sainsbury Centre you tube video about her.
Tangier landscape by Bacon The Oise at Auvers by Van Gogh
Rembrandt portraits of an old man and an old woman
Picasso Standing Woman
Bacon’s ghostly crucifixion
Bacon’s portraits of Lisa Sainsbury
Van Gogh’s portrait of a peasant woman
Standing Jizo Bosatsu Kamakura period (AD 1185-1333) Japan Wood, metal, UEA 1255n
McWilliam, Kneeling Figure (SCVA)
Statuette of a companion of the dead. Egypt. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty XII, c.1880 BC. Faience. h. 5.7cm. Acquired 1975. 29