Francis Bacon. Invisible Rooms

7 October 2016 – 8 January 2017

The exhibition "Francis Bacon. Invisible Spaces" is dedicated for the first time to a central aspect of the work of Francis Bacon (1909-1992), who is considered one of the most important modern painters in Great Britain. The ingenious pictorial strategy of this exceptional figurative artist is systematically explored through 40 large-scale paintings, including four monumental triptychs, as well as works on paper that have rarely been shown before. The exhibition features spectacular loans with intangible insurance values, including from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington.

Bacon's paintings are characterized not only by their expressive depiction of figures, but also by the characteristic construction of the pictorial spaces. Beginning in the 1930s, the artist organized the spatial and dramatic composition of the image by surrounding his subjects with an architectural, ghost-like framework. 

In other works, he places his vulnerable figures in front of black surfaces, places them on pedestals and scaffolding, or exposes them in arenas. Whereas at first the paintings allow the figures to emerge from the pictorial background like visions, Bacon's brushstrokes become more vivid and the coloration more luminous over the years. Trapped in these spaces, the figures have no vanishing point, they are defenceless against the indifferent cages and the viewer. The exhibition shows how Bacon's "invisible" spaces emphasize the isolation of the figures depicted and draw attention to their psychological state.

"Francis Bacon. Invisible Spaces" is a joint exhibition of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Tate Liverpool.