Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, is unveiled for the first time today alongside a one-day exhibition of some of the artist’s rarely seen works in Soho, London.
Published globally on 30th June 2016, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné is a landmark publishing event that presents the entire oeuvre of Bacon’s paintings for the first time and includes many previously unpublished works. To celebrate the forthcoming publication The Estate of Francis Bacon is staging Francis Bacon: Six Studies in Soho today, an exciting exhibition of five paintings and one triptych including ‘Figures in a Landscape’, c. 1956 and ‘Marching Figures’, c.1952.
The impeccably produced five-volume, slip-cased publication, containing each of Bacon’s 584 paintings, has been edited by Martin Harrison FSA, the pre-eminent expert on Bacon’s work, alongside research assistant Dr Rebecca Daniels. An ambitious and painstaking project that has been ten years in the making, this seminal visual document eclipses in scope any previous publication on the artist and will have a profound effect on the perception of his work.
Eleven paintings of George Dyer, completed between 1966 and 1968, that are “technically and conceptually entirely resolved but which carry almost harrowing psychological sub-texts” [MH] have had a deep impact on Harrison personally, while Bacon’s eighteen female nudes typify those aspects of his oeuvre “that will introduce whole areas that people don’t know about, or seldom mention.” [MH]
Bacon is known to have destroyed many of his paintings. Of the 584 that survive only about 300 were accessible or in circulation; it is testimony to Harrison’s exacting and expert work that the new catalogue raisonné includes all 584 paintings.
The catalogue contains around 800 illustrations across 1,538 pages within five clothbound hardcover volumes and is priced at £1,000 | $1,500 | €1,400. The three volumes that make up the study of Bacon’s entire painting oeuvre are bookended by two further volumes: the former including an introduction and a chronology, and the latter a catalogue of Bacon’s sketches, an index, and a bibliography compiled by Krzysztof Cieszkowski. Printed on 170 gsm GardaMatt Ultra stock in Bergamo, Italy, at Castelli Bolis, the five volumes of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné are boxed within a clothbound slipcase, and supplied within a bespoke protective shipping carton.
In addition to the 584 paintings, the catalogue contains illuminating supporting material. This includes sketches by Bacon, photographs of early states of paintings, images of Bacon’s furniture, hand-written notes by the artist, photographs of Bacon, his family and circle, and fascinating x-ray and microscope photography of his paintings.
Several major exhibitions on Bacon are scheduled for 2016–17. Francis Bacon: Invisible
Rooms runs from 18 May until 18 September 2016 at Tate Liverpool, and from 7 October
2016 until 8 January 2017 at Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart. Martin Harrison is the curator of
Francis Bacon, Monaco et la culture française which runs at Grimaldi Forum, Monaco from 2
July 2016 until 4 September 2016 and Francis Bacon: From Picasso to Velázquez which runs
at Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao from 30 September 2016 until 8 January 2017.
Note to editors
Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné:
Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné (ed. Martin Harrison) is published on 30th June 2016 by The Estate of Francis Bacon priced at £1,000 | $1,500 | €1,400
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Francis Bacon: Six Studies in Soho:
Francis Bacon: Six Studies in Soho, a one-day only exhibition celebrating the launch of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, 10am-9pm, Wednesday 25th May 2016, 6-10 Lexington Street London W1F 0LB. Admission free.