Francis Bacon: Five Decades

Francis Bacon. Figure study I, 1945–46 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. DACS/Licen
Francis Bacon. Figure study I, 1945–46 (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh © The Estate of Francis Bacon. DACS/Licensed by Viscopy)

Exhibition curator Anthony Bond writes about Francis Bacon: Five Decades at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, on view through February 24, 2013.

Bond writes: "The premise of the exhibition has been to foreground the facture of the paintings rather than presenting the narratives that a thematic installation privileges. Bacon himself hated the idea of narrative in painting but more importantly the structure of his paint changed dramatically roughly every ten years and this hang celebrates these often uncanny moves. The unusual materiality of the paintings can be the most exciting aspect of a reconsideration of his work. Bacon’s painstaking paint application of the mid-1940s contrasts strikingly with the open dry overall brushwork of the 1950s where figure and field dissolve and bleed into each other... In the following decades Bacon continued to invent new ways of making this happen; applying acrylics and oil paint with the brush, palette knife, fabrics, rollers, spray cans, applying the lids of paint tins and tubes to create circular motifs, incorporating dust and sand."