Publications

The Foundation publishes and co-publishes books on Francis Bacon. It also financially supports the publication of books on or related to the British painter.

Francis Bacon or the Measure of Excess
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Francis Bacon or the Measure of Excess

2020

Our institution financially supports the English edition of Yves Peyré’s latest book: Francis Bacon or the Measure of Excess, published by ACC Art Books and to be released in October 2020.

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Yves Peyré, writer and friend of Francis Bacon, has produced a notably complete study of the artist’s work and life, both in terms of analysis and reproduction of paintings and drawings. He evokes the major contribution of this great unclassifiable painter, from his beginnings as a young designer in the 1920s to his last large triptychs of the late 1980s, and offers a personal and touching look at his complex personality and his extraordinary oeuvre: tormented, sometimes violent, reflecting his most intimate wounds, but nevertheless luminous in its colours and through his quest for the absolute.

This account, always based on precise facts, considerably broadens our vision of the work through in-depth interpretations, making a distinctively new contribution to what has been written already. The book is based on a flawless knowledge of the artist’s work and is enriched by the author’s close relationship with Francis Bacon, offering a philosophical, poetic and artistic stroll through the various stages of an outstanding exploration.

Inside Francis Bacon
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Inside Francis Bacon

2020

The Foundation is pleased to announce the release of the book Inside Francis Bacon, the third volume in the series ‘Francis Bacon Studies’, launched and published by The Estate of Francis Bacon with the financial support of our institution. Martin Harrison, editor of Francis Bacon: Catalogue, Raisonné, is the series editor.

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The six essays in Francis Bacon Studies III: Inside Francis Bacon constitute a ground-breaking multi-disciplinary study of Bacon’s life and art and disclose fascinating new information about this elusive artist. Where the content of Francis Bacon Studies I and II reflected the application of theory-based methodologies, several of the authors of Inside Francis Bacon consider the artist through more traditional art-historical disciplines, including biography and the technical analysis of his paintings. This is in line with our intention that Francis Bacon Studies should embrace the widest possible range of new thinking about Bacon.

Three of the essays, those by Francesca Pipe, Sophie Pretorius and Martin Harrison, are based on archives that have been added only recently to the collection of the Estate of Francis Bacon. What they reveal will revolutionise our perceptions of Bacon. Very little is known about his early life and career, and the diaries of his two earliest patrons facilitate a much deeper understanding of his formative years than, until now, has been possible. Many of the myths that Bacon and his apologists created in the 1980s are exploded: for example, in a recent broadcast a Tate curator confidently informs the audience of Bacon’s brutal upbringing and the ‘horse-whippings’ he suffered, claims based on gossip and hearsay that evidence published in Inside Francis Bacon seriously challenges. Especially revelatory are the extensive records kept over a long period by Bacon’s doctor, Paul Brass, a generous long-term loan by Ruth Brass. Sophie Pretorius’s analysis of them will require a fundamental revision of preconceived notions about Bacon’s character and psychology, and also explains the uneven production rate of his paintings.

Sarah Whitfield sheds significant new light on both Bonnard and Bacon; she has identified concerns the two artists shared that will surprise as well as inform. Joyce Townsend draws on her scientific and technical investigations into Tate’s most important Bacon paintings, as well as comparisons with the techniques of many other artists, to advance engrossingly fresh information about Bacon’s aims and techniques. Christopher Bucklow extends his meditations on the metaphor system in Bacon’s paintings published in Francis Bacon Studies I. His ideas are always compelling and challenging, and his essay reflects wide, and perhaps unexpected, terms of reference, ranging from William Blake to Japanese ukiyo‑e prints.

More information on the book here.

Presentation videos introducing essays from the book:

Inside Francis Bacon – Diana Watson’s Diary

Inside Francis Bacon – A Pathological Painter

Inside Francis Bacon – Eric Allden’s Diary

Christopher Bucklow on his essays in Francis Bacon Studies I and III

Francis Bacon: Study for a Portrait
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Francis Bacon: Study for a Portrait

2019

Francis Bacon: Study for a Portrait has been printed in a limited, numbered edition of 584 copies, representing the number of paintings produced by Bacon. Featuring over 180 photographs of the British artist taken by more than 60 photographers, each copy includes a signed and numbered print by the French photographer Michel Nguyen.

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This book, the first to be dedicated to photographs of Francis Bacon, unveils iconic and often previously unseen images of the painter. The photographs are drawn from the MB Art Collection which holds the world’s most extensive collection of photographs of Francis Bacon. This collection encompasses over 700 hundred prints by more than seventy photographers, ranging from portraits by eminent photographers to rare snapshots caught by his inner circle.

Study for a Portrait offers a new glance at this singular artist. The portfolio, spanning from the 1920s to the 1990s, is accompanied by photographers’ anecdotes and memories of the shoots. This unique encounter through the camera lens opens revealing and personal perspectives on one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century.

Only 300 copies of this book are for sale (295€). To order a copy, please contact the Foundation. You can also find this publication at The Photographers’ Gallery bookshop in London as well as at the Centre Pompidou bookshop in Paris.

Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis
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Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis

2019

Our Foundation is pleased to support the book Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis. Comprised of eight essays, illustrated in colour throughout by Bacon’s works, this is the second volume in the series ‘Francis Bacon Studies’, launched and published by The Estate of Francis Bacon with the financial support of our institution.

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Martin Harrison, editor of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, is the series editor.

Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis draws together some of today’s leading philosophers and psychoanalytic critics to go beyond established readings of Bacon and open up radically new ways of thinking about his art. The essays bring Bacon into dialogue with figures such as Aristotle, Georg Hegel, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Theodor Adorno, and Martin Heidegger, and situate his work in the broader contexts of modernism and modernity.

More information on the book here.

Bacon en toutes lettres
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Bacon en toutes lettres

2019

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation is taking part in the exhibition Francis Bacon: Books and Painting – to be presented from 11 September 2019 to 20 January 2020 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris - by contributing to the exhibition catalogue and the series of lectures, the ‘Bacon Book Club’.

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The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation is taking part in the exhibition Francis Bacon: Books and Painting – to be presented from 11 September 2019 to 20 January 2020 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris – by contributing to the exhibition catalogue and the series of lectures, the ‘Bacon Book Club’ to be held at the Centre Pompidou during the exhibition period.

The last major French exhibition dedicated to the ardently Francophile Bacon was held in 1996 at the Centre Pompidou. More than twenty years later, ‘Francis Bacon: Books and Painting’ presents paintings executed from 1971, the year of the legendary retrospective held at the Grand Palais, to his final works in 1992. Didier Ottinger is the curator of this innovative exploration of the influence of literature in Francis Bacon’s œuvre.

There are six rooms along the visitor route, placing literature at the heart of the exhibition. The event includes readings of excerpts of texts taken from Francis Bacon’s library.  The exhibition at the Centre Pompidou focuses on works produced by Bacon in the last two decades of his career. It consists of sixty paintings (including twelve triptychs, in addition to a series of portraits and self-portraits) from major private and public collections. From 1971 to 1992 (the year of the artist’s death), his painting style was marked by its simplification and intensification. His colours acquired new depth, drawn from a unique chromatic register of yellow, pink and saturated orange. 1971 was a turning point for Bacon. His Grand Palais retrospective earned him international acclaim, while the tragic death of his partner, two days before the exhibition opening, gave way to a period marked by guilt and represented by a proliferation of the symbolic and mythological form of the Erinyes (the Furies of Greek mythology) in his work. The ‘Black’ Triptychs painted in memory of his deceased friend (In Memory of George Dyer, 1971, Triptych–August 1972 and Triptych, May–June 1973), all presented at the exhibition, commemorate this loss.

Available to order online here.

Francis Bacon ou la mesure de l’excès.
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Francis Bacon ou la mesure de l’excès.

2019

Our institution financially supports the latest book by Yves Peyré: Francis Bacon ou la mesure de l’excès, published by Gallimard on the occasion of the major exhibition ‘Francis Bacon: Books and Painting’, presented at the Centre Pompidou in Paris till 20 January 2020.

Read more >

Yves Peyré, writer and friend of Francis Bacon, has produced a notably complete study of the artist’s work and life, both in terms of analysis and reproduction of paintings and drawings. He evokes the major contribution of this great unclassifiable painter, from his beginnings as a young designer in the 1920s to his last large triptychs of the late 1980s, and offers a personal and touching look at his complex personality and his extraordinary oeuvre: tormented, sometimes violent, reflecting his most intimate wounds, but nevertheless luminous in its colours and through his quest for the absolute.

This account, always based on precise facts, considerably broadens our vision of the work through in-depth interpretations, making a distinctively new contribution to what has been written already. The book is based on a flawless knowledge of the artist’s work and is enriched by the author’s close relationship with Francis Bacon, offering a philosophical, poetic and artistic stroll through the various stages of an outstanding exploration.

Available online here.

PRIX BERNIER DE L’ACADÉMIE DES BEAUX-ARTS 2020

Bacon and the Mind: Art, Neuroscience and Psychology
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Bacon and the Mind: Art, Neuroscience and Psychology

2019

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation is pleased to support the book Bacon and the Mind: Art, Neuroscience and Psychology. This title is the first in the ‘Francis Bacon Studies’ series launched and published by The Estate of Francis Bacon with the financial support of our institution.

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The series aims to disseminate writing that reflects original research and opens new perspectives on Bacon’s art and life. Martin Harrison, editor of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, is the series editor.

This volume includes contributions from Christopher Bucklow, Steven Jaron, Darian Leader, John Onians, Semir Zeki and Tomohiro Ishizu. Bacon and the Mind is being published by The Estate of Francis Bacon Publishing in association with Thames & Hudson.

Available to order online: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bacon-Mind-Art-Neuroscience-Psychology/dp/0500970971/

Bacon le cannibale
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Bacon le cannibale

2018

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation supports Perrine Le Querrec’s book dedicated to Francis Bacon.

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Our Foundation financially supports Perrine Le Querrec’s last book Bacon le Cannibale, published by Hippocampe Editions in mid-October.

Using sources in the archives of the MB Art Collection (paintings, graphic works, letters, objects, photographs, and working documents, all from Bacon’s studios), the book constructs a poetic and sensitive portrait of the man and his work. From reluctant words and stubborn silence Perrine Le Querrec creates language and vision. The study and manipulation of archives and images occupy an essential place in her writing.

“To the question “Which writer has influenced you?” I would answer, without hesitation: Francis Bacon. If not a writer, he has always been an essential source of inspiration and guidance. I would never write “stories”, I would seek to compose a language that addresses the body, sensations and nervous system, a language as living and incarnate as possible. Archives are a source of memory, emotion and poetry which hold a fundamental place in the construction of my writing. Thus, in tribute to Francis Bacon, a painter who used archives and photographs, working with images in all their longevity and decay, their surface and depth, I turned to his own archives, his portraits, and his objects. These archives, conserved by a lover of Bacon’s work, have given substance to my passion. Keenly shadowing him, tracing the pattern of his actions and materials, I attempt a Study for a portrait of the artist. Through archive and poetry, I am as close as possible to a flamboyant, heart-breaking, lonely, universal creation.”
Perrine Le Querrec

Available to order online: here.

Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation
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Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation

2017

In 2017, the new edition of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation’s first book, originally published in 2015, has been enhanced by texts, photographs and memories from the artist’s friends: the writer Yves Peyré, the artist John Pelling and Anne-Marie Crété de Chambine.

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It has also been revised to include recent research and discoveries which has enabled us to expand the biography section on the artist.

Not for sale, only available from the Foundation.

Francis Bacon, France and Monaco
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Francis Bacon, France and Monaco

2016

This bilingual book has been published to coincide with the exhibition ‘Francis Bacon, Monaco et la culture française’ which was held at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, in summer 2016.

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Jointly published by the Foundation and Albin Michel, it has been compiled under the direction of Martin Harrison, the exhibition’s curator and author of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné. Nine eminent art historians (Martin Harrison, Sarah Whitfield, Amanda J. Harrison, Catherine Howe, Dr. Rebecca Daniels, Dr Carol Jacobi, Dr. Darren Ambrose, Dr. James Wishart, Eddy Batache.) have contributed essays. The book’s foreword was written by Majid Boustany, founder/director of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation.

The book invites us to explore the strong bonds Francis Bacon enjoyed with France and Monaco and sheds light on the influence of French culture on the artist’s life and work.

Available to order online (www.henipublishing.com and on amazon) and in bookstores.

Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation
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Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation

2015

This first bilingual book, published in June 2015, introduces the objectives of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation and throws light on the close ties that Bacon had with the Principality of Monaco, the South of France and Paris.

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Two eminent art historians, Martin Harrison and Eddy Batache, have enriched this publication with their texts. The book closes with a comprehensive chronology of the artist.

Out of Print. New edition available.