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The painting of Francis Bacon who often worked in Triptych form ... He’s a man who luxuriates in putrefaction. There’s almost a stench of the human flesh decaying in his paintings, but at the same time I think there’s great beauty … The most powerful painter of human flesh in the twentieth century. Tim Marlow: The Nude: The Modern, Sky Arts 2012
Less contentious is the formative impact that Picasso had on the two most potent British painters to emerge during and after the Second World War – Francis Bacon and Graham Sutherland. Bacon destroyed most of his early work from the thirties. Tim Marlow on ... Picasso and Modern British Art
Crucifixion Triptych: Emphasises the putrid nature of human flesh and the inevitability of decay. And it also reverberates with the post-war mood of Europe. Tim Marlow on ... The New Tate Modern
Figure in Movement 1985: He’s the greatest British painter of the twentieth century. Tim Marlow Meets Michael Palin, Tim
Figure Study I 1945-1946: A great work ... full of mystery. Tim Marlow Meets ... Ian Rankin, Tim
A genuinely disturbing painting. ibid. Ian
Francis Bacon: ‘These images of immediacy’ ... viz: Arena 1984: Francis Bacon with Clement Freud, BBC. Great Artists in Their Own Words II: Out of the Darkness 1939-1966
The enemy of abstract art turned up in town: in 1959 Patrick Heron got the most tremendous shock – the artist Francis Bacon had left London and come down two doors away from Patrick to no 3 to prepare work for a London exhibition: the two men became friends ... Patrick thought art should lift the human spirit, but Bacon believed Life was full of pain and suffering – his art deliberately set out to shock post-war Britain to its core. Janet Street-Porter, The Genius of British Art: Modern Times, 2010
The master of shock: Francis Bacon. Bacon launched himself as the original bad boy of British art in 1944 with a work of almost unbearable intensity: Three Studies for Figures at the Base of the Crucifixion. ibid.
Bacon’s paintings dissected humanity itself. ibid.
At its [Soho] very centre was one of our most notorious artists. For him salvation was an illusion. He only believed in fear, pain and desire. His name was Francis Bacon. Dr James Fox, British Masters III: A New Jerusalem
The violence in his life was matched by the way he worked. ibid.
Bacon’s Crucifixion is not about Jesus; it is about us: Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. ibid.
He began a series of memorials to his dead lover which I believe are his finest achievements in painting. ibid.
A Triptych: what a painting this is. What a devastating meditation on the human condition. Suddenly this feeling develops: humans are nothing more than the flesh and fluids from which they are made. That despite all our pretensions all life is desire and death, and that try as we might to make our lives meaningful, all we are is lonely and fragile creatures fighting in vain against the night. In his masterpiece Bacon had finally expressed the hopelessness of life. ibid.
I think that painting today is pure intuition. And luck. And taking advantage of what happens when you splash the bits down. Francis Bacon, cited The Art of Francis Bacon
Painting is a world of its own. It’s self-sufficient. ibid.
Art is a method of opening up areas of feeling rather than merely an illustration of an object. A picture should be a recreation of an event rather than an illustration of an object. But there is no tension in the pictures unless there is a struggle with the object. ibid.
I never go through a day without thinking sometime of death. It just comes into everything that you do. Into everything that you see. ibid.
The glass helps to unify the picture. ibid.
I look at animal photographs all the time. ibid.
You have to break technique. Break tradition to do something really new. You always go back into Tradition. But you have to break it. And reinvent it first. ibid.
Real painters do not paint things as they are, after a dry and learning analysis. No, they paint them as they themselves feel them to be. ibid.
I don’t want to tell a story. I’ve no story to tell. ibid.
I work much better in chaos. I couldn’t work in an absolutely tidy studio. ibid.
Nine-tenths of the nation, ninety per cent of the people, ninety-five per cent of the people, are absolute fools. And they’re bigger fools about painting than about anything else. ibid.
To be an artist at all is a form of vanity. ibid.
Beauty moves me. Nothing else. Francis Bacon
I’m afraid of violence, but I’ve often submitted to it. Francis Bacon
When I say violence I mean violence of Life itself ... To think how disturbing what is called Reality is. Francis Bacon
Well, I was living once down in Monte Carlo and I had lost all my money, and, I had no canvases left and so, the few I had I just turned them, and I found that the, that the, what is called the wrong side, the unprimed side of the canvas worked for me very much better. So I’ve always used them. So it was just by chance that I had no money to buy canvases with. Francis Bacon, interview Melvyn Bragg South Bank Show 1985
I work much better in chaos. ibid.
I believe in nothing. We are born and we die and that’s it: there’s nothing else. ibid.
I’m optimistic about nothing. ibid.
I feel ever so strongly that an artist must be nourished by his passions and his despairs. These things alter an artist whether for the good or the better or the worse. It must alter him. The feelings of desperation and unhappiness are more useful to an artist than the feeling of contentment, because desperation and unhappiness stretch your whole sensibility. Francis Bacon, cited John Gruen ‘The Artist Observed’ 1991
Living by a total falsehood, as I think they are living with their religious views. I can’t help admiring them. But despairing for them. Francis Bacon, cited The Art of Francis Bacon
Life is just filled really with suffering and despair. Francis Bacon, cited The Art of Francis Bacon
I think that art is an obsession with Life. ibid.
How can you not think that Life is totally futile? ibid.
Between Birth and Death it’s always been the same thing: the violence of life. I always think they are images of sensation. After all, what is life but sensation? What we feel. What happens. What happens at the moment. We are born and we die. And that’s it. There’s nothing else. We are born and we die. But in between we give this purposeless existence a meaning by our drives. ibid.
The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness. It is not like a drug; it is a particular state when everything happens very quickly, a mixture of consciousness and unconsciousness, of fear and pleasure; it’s a little like making love, the physical act of love. Francis Bacon
Painting is a duality and abstract painting is an entirely aesthetic thing. It always remains on one level. It is only really interesting in the beauty of its patterns or its shapes. Francis Bacon
I don’t know how to make it. I rely then on chance and accident making it for me. Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon is one of the essential artists of the twentieth century. The Art of Francis Bacon
Bacon was born in Ireland in 1909. After a visit to Berlin in the late 1920s he worked in London as an interior designer. He lived mostly in London for the rest of his life, combining a Bohemian lifestyle with a rigorous pursuit of his art. ibid.
11,085. The man who paints those dreadful pictures. Margaret Thatcher