Bacon / Ghenie · genius and turbulence

Bacon / Ghenie · genius and turbulence

Francis Bacon — Seated Figure — 1960Adrian Ghenie — The Collector III — 2008

From 21 to 29 May 2022, Christie’s Hong Kong presents “Flesh and Soul: Bacon/Ghenie”, a joint exhibition of more than 15 works by Francis Bacon and Adrian Ghenie.

Source: Christie’s · Images: Francis Bacon (1909–1992), “Seated Figure”, 1960. Oil on canvas (152.8 x 119.5 cm) — Adrian Ghenie (b.1977), “The Collector 3”, 2008. Oil on canvas, 218.8 x 170 cm.

Organised by Christie’s in collaboration with HomeArt, “Flesh and Soul: Bacon/Ghenie” is Francis Bacon’s first exhibition in Hong Kong, Adrian Ghenie’s first in Asia, and the world’s first joint exhibition for the two artists. In the words of Elaine Holt, Vice President and International Director of Christie’s Asia Pacific, “the bond that binds Bacon and Ghenie together is their ingenuity to seamlessly fuse figurative with abstract, reinterpreting the message of past masters such as Rembrandt and Velázquez with Abstract Expressionism. One can also see in them the turbulent, existential vision of Van Gogh. Together but in their own way, Bacon and Ghenie instilled into the flesh of the classics a new, modern soul.”

Francis Bacon (1909–1992) is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in European art after the Second World War. He is also one of the big names in the art market, and just over eight years ago Christie’s auctioned his “Three Studies by Lucian Freud” for some $142 million, then a record for a work of art at auction. Among the works by Francis Bacon included in the exhibition are two figures of Popes, “Seated Figure” from 1960 and “Study for a Pope I” painted the following year, as well as “Two Studies for a Self-Portrait”, a small-format diptych painted in 1970.

Perhaps the most internationally recognisable Romanian artist since Constantin Brâncuși and Tristan Tzara (and maybe Saul Steinberg), Adrian Ghenie (b.1977 ), like Bacon, studies and reinterprets works by European art masters, with his paintings inspired by works by Vincent van Gogh being particularly famous, such as “The Sunflowers in 1937” (reinterpreting Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” series) or “Lidless Eye” (derived from a self-portrait by the Dutch Post-Impressionist master), both of which are included in the exhibition.

In a press release, Christie’s states that “like Bacon a generation before, Adrian Ghenie uses his art to address traumas of humanity, but with a preoccupation with mass sufferings and the forces of good and evil. His techniques of pouring, dripping,and knifing are unorthodox, creating canvases that are rough and jagged, conveying darkness and torment, often with a cinematic feel”. #2022 #Christie’s #FrancisBacon #theartwolf

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