This weekend the Grimaldi Forum Monaco opens the doors to its major Francis Bacon exhibition: ‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’. From 2 July to 4 September The Grimaldi Forum displays over sixty pieces including major triptychs, exhibiting Bacon’s work’s relationship to France and the artist’s Monegasque period. Works on display made available from public and private collections include Head VI 1949, Fragment of a Crucifixion 1950, Pope I: Study After Pope Innocent X by Velázquez 1951, and the pictured Triptych, Studies of the Human Body 1970.
“[…] I love it and find it very good for pictures falling ready-made into the mind.” - Francis Bacon on Monaco
Francis Bacon was immediately taken with French culture when he made his first visit to Paris in his teens. In the spring of 1927, aged 17, he spent time in Chantilly and in that same year, when visiting an exhibition at the Paul Rosenberg Gallery, he encountered Picasso’s works which inspired him to take up painting. In July 1946 Francis Bacon left London for the principality of Monaco, living there until the early fifties. It was in Monaco that he painted his first “pope”, mainly inspired by Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, there that he started to paint on the reverse of his canvas, and there that he began to concentrate his work on the human form. Bacon continued to return to Monaco and the South of France frequently, and in 1976 Bacon took a studio apartment in Paris until 1987, executing numerous portraits of his Parisian friends, notably Michel Leiris and Jacques Dupin. The show also displays major works of masters who inspired Francis Bacon: Giacometti, Léger, Lurçat and more, viewable as a cross-reference for visitors. ‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’ is curated by Martin Harrison FSA, author of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné, supported by the Estate of Francis Bacon, and is the first major event to be supported by the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation. Find out more about the show and Bacon’s time in Monaco via the Foundation’s website, and via Grimaldi Forum’s exhibition page. The exhibition will travel to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao from 30 September 2016 to 8 January 2017, focusing on the artist’s relationship with Spain. ‘Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture’ 2 July – 4 September 2016 Espace Ravel du Grimaldi Forum Monaco 10, avenue Princesse Grace – 98000 Monaco Word ref: Grimaldi Forum website. Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for all confirmation please contact Grimaldi Forum.