Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
By Isabella Boorman
Wednesday 20th January 2021 6pm
As the Royal Academy of Arts prepares to open its doors for its first major exhibition on one of Britain’s most celebrated artists: Francis Bacon, this seeks to explore an unknown side to the artist in his fascination with animals. Born in Dublin in 1909 and raised on a farm near County Kildare, Ireland; his father a retired army officer and breeder of horses, his mother an heiress of Firth’s steel, Bacon was surrounded by animals from an early age. In this talk Assistant Curator Isabella Boorman explores Bacon’s life, which was at times controversial, including his days drinking and gambling in the artistic milieu of Soho with Lucian Freud, visiting the wild landscapes of Africa, and producing powerful, evocative paintings in isolation at his studio and home in South Kensington. His paintings of animals explore human beings’ primal instincts, the artist conveying intense emotion through paint, asking the question: Francis Bacon, man or beast?
Isabella is Assistant Curator at The Royal Academy of Arts, and specialises in 20th century art history. She studied art history at The Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of York, and has worked for arts institutions such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, and the National Museum of Wales. The exhibition ‘Francis Bacon: Man and Beast’ will be held at the Royal Academy of Arts, dates are to be announced.
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