Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
NEWS

RIP – Filmmaker Jonas Mekas Has Passed Away at the Age of 96

January 23rd, 2019

Jonas Mekas in 1964, via NYT
Jonas Mekas in 1964, via NYT

Film-maker Jonas Mekas, a figure who loomed large in the New York cinematic landscape, and an artist widely considered the godfather of underground cinema, has died at the age of 96.  A founder of both the famed Film Culture magazine and the still operating Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan, his energetic engagement with all aspects of filmmaking helped to nurture the careers of filmmakers like John Waters and Jim Jarmusch, among others.  “Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early this morning,” the Film Archives wrote online. “He was at home with family. He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.”
Read More »

Protests Lead to Calls for Removing Sackler Family Name from Harvard Buildings

January 23rd, 2019

Sackler Protests, via ArtforumFollowing the continued protests against the Sackler Family, a number of politicians and activists are pressuring Harvard to remove the Sackler name from a number of its buildings, including its arts museum. The news comes a day after The Met announced it was reviewing its gift acceptance policies over similar criticism and legal threats.
Read More »

Lehmann Maupin Accuses Former Director of Stealing Trade Secrets

January 23rd, 2019

Bona Yoo, Art NewsLehmann Maupin Gallery filed suit against former director Bona Yoo, accusing the dealer of “stealing trade secrets” and altering the gallery’s files before moving on to Lévy Gorvy Gallery in New York as sales director.  “Lehmann Maupin brought this lawsuit purely out of spite towards a former employee who, in Lehmann Maupin’s own words, was ‘a valuable leader at the gallery.’ Ms. Yoo intends to vigorously defend herself against her former employer’s baseless and vengeful claims,” Yoo’s lawyer, Tibor Nagy says.
Read More »

REFERENCE LIBRARY

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon, image via National Galleries

b. 1909 in Dublin, died 1992 in Madrid

Bacon was considered a modern artist but did not belong to any particular art movement. He developed his own style of work, often creating scenes involving violence or sexuality.

Bacon is an Irish born painter, who is best known for his nightmarish, grotesque imagery.  He lived a tumulus life, constantly moving, being shuffled around to relatives, a strained relationship with his father, menial jobs, and a severe case of asthma and a violent allergy to dogs and horses.  He was never formally trained or attended any art schools.  

His medical conditions caused him to purchase a medical book on the subject matter diseases of the mouth, which contained images that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Bacon noted that the 1925 silent film The Battleship Potemkin, was highly influential on his work.

His first show was in 1929, which exhibited his rugs and furniture he had created while working as an interior designer.  His later works were an abstraction of the human form. 


Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944) via Tate Collection

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944) would be the first forerunner of Bacon’s works that would take the triptych format.   Three panels placed behind heavily gilded frames, an open mouth a reference to the The Battleship Potemkin, and the use of distortion.  

Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent

Study After Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent image via Art Quotes

Bacon also became interested in Diego Velasquez’s work, particularly, his Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1650. Bacon painted a series of Popes, however his version the Pope was more gruesome and nightmarish.


Triptych (1972) via Tate Collection

Bacon destroyed his previous works he did not deem worthy, many ending up with slashed canvases. His relationship with Eastender George Dyer influenced his Triptych (1973), which documents Dyer’s suicide, and would continue to be a theme for his works for the rest of his life. 

Bacon died of a heart attack April 28, 1992 while in Madrid, Spain.