HOW ART MUSEUM presents the most significant exhibition ever staged in Wenzhou of one of the 20th century's foremost modern painters, Francis Bacon, who devoted his career to exploring the figure, evoking bodily sensations, revealing human conditions beneath everyday life. Since the 1990s, people in China have been studying Bacon's artworks. But this exhibition, titled FRANCIS BACON: TRANSFIGURATION - the Barry Joule Collection will be the first dedicated exhibition in China to profoundly rethink his painting of human figure around the influence of photography. Most of the exhibits, including drawings, prints, photographic materials and documents are from Bacon's studio at 7 Reece Mews, London SW7, U.K.
Francis Bacon (1909-1992), the Irish-born British figurative artist, is widely considered the most original and pioneering painter of the 20th century. Known for his iconically bold, grotesque, emotionally charged raw imagery, Bacon’s work with twisted, transfigured and blurred figures made him the most controversial artist in Postwar Britain, and also one of the most influential modern masters in the world. Bacon’s work partially utilizes elements from photography and film, consciously and skillfully subverted and reinterpreted the original images to transform them into visceral pictorial statements. His work contains pictorial intensity and existential force that are highly praised as the original of his day.
FRANCIS BACON: TRANSFIGURATION - the Barry Joule Collection will feature approximately 100 drawings, photographic materials, documents and prints alongside a group of related audios and videos elucidating Francis Bacon’s career and his legendary studio at 7 Reece Mews. Preferring to emphasize the immediacy of chance to generate images, Bacon denied that he made preparatory drawings and declared that he would go straight to the painting itself; while the Barry Joule Collection of Francis Bacon artworks and related material from 7 Reece Mews is highly revealing about the once mysterious working practice of Francis Bacon and one of the direct connections for Bacon's paintings, his collecting of photographs, and his preparatory studies on photographic figures. FRANCIS BACON: TRANSFIGURATION highlights the artist's fascination with traces of figure movement in his painterly expression. Some of these forms are either escaping to an external space or dissipating within the body through Bacon's smudges and blurs -his “TRANSFIGURATION” that visualizes the invisible forces.
Francis Bacon’s obsession with exploring invisible forces that is possibly from borrowed figures can be traced back to his early works in the 1930s when he introduced the element from Picasso’s visible cubic and elliptic enclosure around the figures. FRANCIS BACON: TRANSFIGURATION will present a rarely seen painting, titled Woman’s Face depicted in 1937. This unfinished reject oil painting with dramatic compositions indicates the combination of artist drawing with his paintbrush. It is the first time that Woman’s Face , an important preparatory work of Bacon is on view for the public worldwide. Given Francis Bacon had little success to begin with in his career and destroyed most of his early work before 1944, this work which is one out of ten early Bacons in Barry Joule Collection is of some significance to comprehend the development of Francis Bacon’s artistic language throughout his entire career.
FRANCIS BACON: TRANSFIGURATION - the Barry Joule Collection is curated by Jade Ma, and organized by HOW ART MUSEUM in collaboration with Mr. Barry Joule. This exhibition will be held at HOW ART MUSEUM | Wenzhou from May 27 2016 to August 28 2016.