100 Masters: Only in Canada, Winnipeg Art Gallery, May 11th - August 18th 2013
This May sees the start of the Winnipeg Art Gallery's new major centenary celebrating exhibition: '100 Masters: Only in Canada', exhibiting one hundred masterpieces to commemorate the WAG's one hundred years. To make this exhibition possible twenty-four museums and galleries from across Canada and two from from the U.S.A. have lent works complementing pieces from the WAG's collection. Of the one hundred masterpieces, fifty are the works of 'home-grown' Canadian artists and fifty a collection of American and European artists, including Francis Bacon.
The Francis Bacon masterpiece featuring in '100 Masters' is the above 'Study for a Portrait No. 1' (1956) oil on canvas, lent by The National Gallery of Canada. The piece of course is one of Bacon's iconic 'Pope paintings' inspired by Spanish Artist Velasquez's 'Pope Innocent X' (1650). Despite producing more than thirty paintings around 'Pope Innocent X' Francis Bacon never actually viewed the original painting, even on a trip to Rome, instead he worked from photographs of the piece.
"...I think it is one of the greatest portraits that have ever been made, and I became obsessed by it. I buy book after book with this illustration in it of the Velasquez Pope, because it just haunts me, and it opens up all sorts of feelings and areas of - I was going to say - imagination, even, in me."
- Francis Bacon on choosing Velasquez's 'Pope Innocent X' as inspiration.
Art enthusiasts are encouraged to visit the exhibitions dedicated website for more information. Visit daily to see a countdown featuring a different masterpiece from the exhibition each day. Also be sure to read Director, CEO and Curator Dr Stephen Borys' blog documenting how he travelled, viewed and negotiated the impressive collection of 100 masterpieces.
Words ref: WAG press release & website. Quote: (David Sylvester, Interviews with Francis Bacon, 4th ed.,1993, London: Thames & Hudson, p. 24)