On Francis Bacon’s birthday, it’s appropriate to share my defense of him against the vicious attacks of three of the biggest art critics.
Francis Bacon has long been my least favorite great painter of the twentieth century. ~ Peter Schjeldahl (for The New Yorker)
True, it would seem there’s no defense needed for an artist who has had more than a half-dozen major retrospectives, and whose Three Studies of Lucien Freud holds the record for the most expensive art ever sold at a public auction ($142.4 million). And yet, he, his art, and the tradition it represents, have been under fierce critical attack, when not completely sidelined as irrelevant.
“Three Studies of Lucien Freud” 1969, by Francis Bacon. The triptych sold for over $124,000,000 in auction at Christies, in 2013. Nevertheless the artist’s reputation is plummeting for all the wrong reasons.
First I’ll share my own personal introduction to Bacon, which is entirely germane to my defense of the artist (you’ll see why); next I’ll counter the infamous attack on Bacon by Jed…
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