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paul w ruiz art notes

Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty


"...every shape has an implication."  ~Francis Bacon

How do we identify, sort through and make the most of the influences on creative endeavour?

Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty [Steidl 2010], provides detailed study on the many influences, feeds and recurring concerns in Bacon's art from the perpective of his studio space; It may just look like a sordid mess to anyone else, but it sheds light on the topography of Bacon's intellectual and creative activity. From images of other artists work, personal memos, and letters, to medical, reference and documentary photography.

"[Bacon] fragmented and twisted, marked, effaced and eroded the prints, transforming them into the equivalents of preliminary studies."

 John Deakin, photos of George Dyer

John Deakin, photographs of George Dyer c.1965

It provokes thought on your own process.

Following my last show I have been through several sketchbooks and sorted through the mess and debris left after the installation of my work at Lindberg. It is useful in reviewing this to consider the source material at my fingertips and which may, if collated and stored well, be re-used or re-examined as the basis for more painting. To this end I have photocopied old drawings and sketches, printed copies of older works and re-cropped or scanned them in black and white. Images beget more images and suggest new possibilities. The material is there, we just need to find the perspective and motivation to mine it for more.

I am excited about what will emerge from this activity.

Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty