Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Francis Bacon Retrospective at the Met

This past weekend I got the chance to see the retrospective of Francis Bacon at the Met in NYC


There were many museum visitors who had the same idea and the space was busy. It's always interesting to me to just walk around an art museum and listen to others as they take in the artworks around them. Kind of an audio voyeur. The comments usually range from the sophisticated - those who seem to have some sort of artistic background, to the average layperson whose comments usually fall in the realm of "This is art? I could do this!", to the absorbers - those who appreciate art, but don't understand it and choose to read the bios and synopses on the walls and process internally.

The visitors to the Bacon exhibit ran this entire gamut.

I had a slim understanding of Bacon, his life and his work, but was eager to learn more through the exhibition. 

His paintings hung is several mid-sized rooms. His content, if you haven't been exposed to his works, is quite graphic, so I'm sure the placements were intentional as seeing these large paintings in smaller rooms added to their somewhat overwhelming intensity.

The descriptions of Bacon's life and work were informative and his history was fleshed out through a room devoted to writings, a full wall photo of his studio, and photos of those near and dear to him. 

I left the exhibit with a greater understanding of Bacon's art and appreciation for the humanity of the artist (the majority of his paintings, arguably all of them, were devoted to birth, sex, and death as he regarded those as the great triumvirate of society).

I highly recommend the show and encourage those who have not yet seen it to take a day out of your weekend to view it.

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