"Couplings," by Francis Bacon | Gagosian

by Christopher Andrew Armstrong

Francis Bacon.  Two Figures , 1953. Oil on canvas. 152.5 x 116.5 cm. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. Courtesy Gagosian

Francis Bacon. Two Figures, 1953. Oil on canvas. 152.5 x 116.5 cm. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. Courtesy Gagosian

With surreal paintings which distorted and, oftentimes, blurred human figures, Francis Bacon rose to prominence during the twentieth century as a revolutionary in figurative paintings. The relationship between two people, on both the physical and psychological level, played an important role in his most famous pieces. Gagosian’s London outpost zeroes in on this recurring theme throughout his works in Couplings, an upcoming exhibition showcasing a curated collection of the artist’s oeuvre.

The works which should create the greatest stir among both critics and fans will be Two Figures (1953) and Two Figures in the Grass (1954), a set hidden from public eye since showing in Paris back in 1971. His paintings usually reference the homosexual painter’s former lovers, who found themselves intertwined within passionate and even violent affairs. These two paintings are no different, displaying two figures in union, their anatomies fusing together to create a visceral effect.

Francis Bacon.  Two Figures in the Grass , 1954. Oil on canvas. 152 x 117cm. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. Courtesy Gagosian

Francis Bacon. Two Figures in the Grass, 1954. Oil on canvas. 152 x 117cm. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2019. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. Courtesy Gagosian

Couplings will open June 6th and run until August 3rd. Gagosian is located at 20 Grosvenor Hill, London. Couplings marks the gallery’s third show celebrating the works of Francis Bacon.