This is the largest Francis Bacon exhibition ever staged in the north of England displaying more than thirty paintings, alongside a group of rarely seen drawings and documents, the exhibition aims to make visitors think differently about the artist’s “bleak and depressing” output.

Francis Bacon often painted a ghost-like frame or structure around the subjects of his paintings.  This powerful device skillfully draws our attention to the figures within his work, intensifying their emotional state to us the viewer. Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms looks at some of the artist’s most iconic and powerful paintings with a special focus on this recurring motif in his paintings.

An element introduced by the artist in the 1930s, Bacon used a barely visible cubic or elliptic cage around the figures depicted to create his dramatic composition. The exhibition demonstrates the ongoing development of the motif, which Bacon tested in different ways from its inception. A period of experimentation on paper in the late 1950s and early 1960s gave way to a greater spatial complexity in the late 1960s, 70s and 80s, where the cubic cages were transformed into theatrical spaces, demonstrated in 1967’s Triptych Inspired by T.S. Eliot’s ‘Sweeney Agonistes’ (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).

There is a parallel exhibition of works by the Austrian painter Marie Lassnig which provides the first UK retrospective of one of the 20th century’s most original painters.

For a review of the exhibition click here.

For more information click here.


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