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Giclée print, 1969
Signed Print Edition of 150
H 110cm x W 82cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
In this 1969 giclée print, Francis Bacon is concerned with the human body. Bacon approached the human body from the perspective of his own nihilistic vision of existence, marked by the inevitability of death. The physicality of the contorted body lying on a bed seeks to express the vulnerability of human nature. Going beyond visual replications of real life, Bacon sought to evoke the human condition and the anxieties of living in post-war Europe through his abstracted forms.
This print is part of an edition of 150. It depicts a body in the centre of the scene surrounded by a plain interior. The claustrophobic scene expresses the isolation of existence for Bacon, whilst the writhing body represents the violence that Bacon felt was inherent to human nature.
The dull palette of murky green, off-white and blue create a discomforting atmosphere that is almost sickly for the viewer. A single light hangs from the ceiling to illuminate the body and form a brash block of yellow light above the body. This feature accentuates the nauseating colours across the signed print.
Bacon’s treatment of the human body has been likened to that of Picasso. The artist claimed to be interested in Picasso’s use of “an organic form that relates to the human image but is a complete distortion of it.” His depiction of a bulging body in this piece combines contrasting elements of embodiment and abstraction to great effect.