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Francis Bacon : anatomy of an enigma

Author: Michael Peppiatt
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st American edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Bacon (1909-92) was raised in large country houses in rural Ireland by a family whose conventional expectations he rebelled against early on. As a young man he was introduced to the seamy side of life in London and Paris; but only after seeing a Picasso retrospective in 1928 did he become an artist. He sprang into prominence in 1944 with a triptych which shocked the art world with its sheer ferocity, and he soon  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Francis Bacon
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Peppiatt
ISBN: 0374104948 9780374104948
OCLC Number: 36520986
Notes: "First published in Great Britain in 1996 by Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London"--T.p. verso.
Description: xviii, 366 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: pt. 1. 1909-44. Origins and upbringing, 1909-26 --
Educated abroad: Berlin and Paris, 1926-28 --
A brief apprenticeship, 1928-33 --
'Insufficiently surreal', 1933-39 --
A vision without veils, 1939-44 --
pt. 2. 1944-63. Father figures and crucifixions, 1944-46 --
Towards other shores, 1946-50 --
Hounded by furies, 1950-54 --
Truth told by a lie, 1954-58 --
Recognition at home: the Tate retrospective, 1958-63 --
pt. 3. 1963-92. 'A brilliant fool like me', 1963-69 --
All the honours of Paris, 1969-72 --
Elegy for the dead, 1972-75 --
'My exhilarated despair', 1975-81 --
Alone in the studio, 1981-84 --
'The greatest living painter', 1984-92.
Responsibility: Michael Peppiatt.

Abstract:

Bacon (1909-92) was raised in large country houses in rural Ireland by a family whose conventional expectations he rebelled against early on. As a young man he was introduced to the seamy side of life in London and Paris; but only after seeing a Picasso retrospective in 1928 did he become an artist. He sprang into prominence in 1944 with a triptych which shocked the art world with its sheer ferocity, and he soon emerged, with his friend Lucian Freud, as a leader of an informal "School of London," which favored figurative painting in an age dominated by abstraction. As retrospectives of Bacon's work in Paris, London, and New York made his reputation soar, his nighttime exploits grew wilder and wilder; charming and confident, with a strong sadomasochistic streak, he was drawn to "rough trade" in London clubs and pushed all situations to the edge. At the same time, he was a deeply cultivated and thoughtful artist who was obsessively guarded about the sources of his inspiration. Michael Peppiatt has unlocked many of the enigmas of Bacon's life and work. Bacon talked openly to Peppiatt about his early life, his sexuality, his fantasies, and his ambitions, aware that all was being recorded for publication. At the suggestion that some of his remarks would sound indiscreet, Bacon replied: "The more indiscreet, the more interesting it will be." Together with many new facts, unpublished documents, and penetrating analyses of key paintings, these conversations have been integrated into what is the most complete and riveting account of one of the greatest artists of our time.

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