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7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon's Studio Hardcover – 24 May 2001
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'Extraordinary' - Image 'Stunning' - Conde Nast Traveller
Shortly after Francis Bacon died, one photographer was granted access to work undisturbed for days on end to produce this riveting record of the Kensington mews house in which Francis Bacon lived and worked for much of his life. In the studio itself, thirty years of inspired artistic endeavour had accumulated in tangible form - the last unfinished painting on the easel; the slashed, discarded canvases on the floor; brushes and paints; photographs of friends and models; pages torn from magazines and books that served visual stimulus for his work; doors and walls that seem to have been inpromptu palettes. Published now for the first time, together with photographs of Bacon's living quarters, kitchen and bedroom, his bookshelves stacked high with Aeschylus, T.S. Eliot and other volumes, trousers draped over a chair, a fractured mirror broken in who knows what incident, this is an astonishing document. Straightforwardly presented, it gives us the sense of having been invited in by Bacon as if he has briefly gone out to buy his newspapers.Some of those close to Bacon during his lifetime believe that his studio and its contents was an heroic statement, in the mould of Duchamp's great work Elant Donnes, secretly constructed over many years to distil and give final form to his intentions as an artist.
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One can almost visualise Bacon getting up and going to paint, maybe then going out, returning to paint and then warming himself at his gas stove. Through the madness, comes the art.
This book is a gem for I don't know how many studio's any of us ever have access to but this is almost as good as it gets. Well worth having, if only to look through the photographs from time to time.
Utterly pointless in one sense (pictures of random detritus) yet really interesting. It is valid as an insider-view of Bacon's (odd) life, but would work almost as well if the identity of the owner of the flat in question was unknown.
The sort of book you pick up just to think about.
Looking through this beautifully printed book has a certain voyeuristic feel to it. After dissecting the contents of the studio (what many could consider a peak of privacy), the photographs draw us towards the kitchen, the book shelf, the bed...this is a book of many tiny illuminations shedding lights in this intriguing character.
This is more than a collection of photographs of an artist's studio. This is a rare glimpse of a fascinating private world, beautifully photographed and presented.
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