The directors of Dellasposa gallery, London, and the publisher ERIS, are delighted to present a performance of a play written by the art historian Michael Peppiatt that recreates a conversation that took place between two of titans of Modern Art, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti.
Bacon/Giacometti: A Dialogue will be staged at the gallery on Tuesday 15 December 2020 and broadcast live on Instagram at 6.45pm and will also mark the publication of the text by ERIS dialogues, and the final month of the exhibition, Tales from the Colony Room: Art and Bohemia.
The play, a two hander, will be performed by actors David Bamber (Bacon) and Stephen Boxer (Giacometti). Both actors have numerous film and stage credits. Bamber famously played Collins, the oleaginous clergymen in the BBC’s famed adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Boxer was seen recently portraying Margaret Thatcher’s husband, Dennis, in the award-winning Netflix series, The Crown.
As well as being a close friend of Bacon’s up until his death in 1992, Peppiatt has written many books on the artists. His biography, Francis Bacon (1909–1992), was chosen as a ‘Book of the Year’ by The New York Times and translated into several languages and is considered the definitive account of the artist’s life and work. He has also curated Man and Beast, the Royal Academy’s blockbuster Bacon show, which opens 30 January 2021.
Peppaitt’s recent memoir of Bacon, Francis Bacon in Your Blood, was hailed by The Spectator as the ‘best art memoir published in years’. He has also written widely on Giacometti, including In Giacometti’s Studio and Alberto Giacometti: An Intimate Portrait.
The play recreates an evening in the 1965 when Giacometti was in London to hang his retrospective at the Tate. The men had enjoyed a lavish dinner at Wheeler’s fish restaurant, then go on to the Colony Room — Bacon’s favourite club in Soho — to pursue their freely flowing conversation about life, art, and their mutual friends. After a while, the club begins to empty out, but the two artists, sensing that they may never have another occasion to talk, order more champagne. The dialogue between the artists had been ‘turning slowly’ in Peppiatt’s mind ever since Bacon told him in detail about his encounters with the Swiss artist, and is based on extensive research.
Says Michael Peppiatt: ’Bacon talked to me so vividly about his conversations late into the night with Giacometti that I imagined I could actually see and hear them speaking.’
Says Jessica Phillimore, gallery director: ‘We are honoured to be presenting this wonderful performance for one night only at Dellasposa gallery. A truly remarkable event that captures the legendary artists Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti at a profound moment in time in London.’
Information about Instagram Live broadcast:
6.30pm: Michael Peppiatt will give introduction talk
6.45pm: performance (duration approx. 40mins)
7.45pm: Q&A mediated by Jessica McBride with Michael Peppiatt and Darren Coffield
(duration 20 mins)
Bacon/Giacometti: A Dialogue, ERIS dialogues, will be published 7 January 2021. To order and for more information, please go to https://eris.press/Bacon-Giacometti-A-Dialogue
Casting: Stuart Burt
Dellasposa gallery: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.dellasposa.com | +44 (0) 20 32 86 10 17
Dellasposa’s current exhibition, Tales from the Colony Room: Art and Bohemia, is a group exhibition featuring more than seventy artists associated with legendary Soho club, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and Tracey Emin, as well photographers John Deakin, Bruce Bernard and Daniel Farson.
The presentation comes hard on the heels of Tales from the Colony Room: Soho’s Lost Bohemia, an oral history of the club edited by Darren Coffield, who is also the curator of the show. He says: ‘For more than fifty years, artists, poets, musicians, actors and writers, plus a fair few criminals, congregated at the club. This show pays homage to some of the biggest names, such as Bacon and Freud, but also the legions of others who made it such a special and influential place, as well as the club’s three proprietors, Muriel Belcher, Ian Board and Michael Wojas.’
The exhibition — the first of its kind — is arranged on two floors, with the lower ground of the gallery devoted to photography. The images include portraits of Bacon and Freud, but also famous Sohoites, such as the late Sebastian Horsley (by Carla Borel), who is also captured in oil by Maggi Hambling. Coffield adds: ‘This is a disparate collection of artists united by one thing: conviviality. The club was a safe haven for creatives and people who lived outside of convention, and its closure in 2008 was without question the end of bohemian London. This show is a celebration of those times.’
Coffield and the gallery have drawn together a collation of work, including loans from many important public and private collections. Freud, Bacon and Auerbach are all represented, along with Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Sir Peter Blake and Patrick Caulfield. Reflecting the club’s resurgent popularity with the co-called YBA generation, there are works by Keith Coventry, Gavin Turk and Tracey Emin. Sarah Lucas, who worked behind the bar for a while (as did Damien Hirst, famously doing so naked one evening), has created a sculpture especially for the show.
Exhibition ends: 20 December 2020
Featured artists: Jankel Adler, Craigie Aitchison, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, David Bailey, Baron, Christopher Battye, Bruce Bernard, Peter Blake, Carla Borel, Cecily Brown, Orlando Campbell, Patrick Caulfield, Daniel Chadwick, Brian Dawn Chalkley, William Corbett, Keith Coventry, Peter Quinn Davies, John Deakin, Tom Deas, Harry Diamond, Craig Easton, Tracey Emin, Jacob Epstein, Angus Fairhurst, Daniel Farson, Angus Forbes, Lucian Freud, Alberto Giacometti, Maggi Hambling, Nina Hamnett, Michael Heath, Michael Heath, Paul Hogarth, Gary Hume, Alyson Hunter, Fred Ingrams, Jak, Ricca Kawai, R. B. Kitaj, Catherine Shakespeare Lane, Stephen Lees, Bill Lloyd, Sarah Lucas, Dan Macmillan, Claudio Manesse, John Minton, James Moores, Frank Norman, Eduardo Paolozzi, Isabel Rawsthorne, William Redgrave, John Richardson, Sophy Rickett, Sir Francis Rose, Robert Rubbish, Elinor Bellingham Smith, Bob and Roberta Smith, F. N. Souza, Trog, Amelia Troubridge, Gavin Turk, Jessica Voorsanger, Ed Winter, Michael Woods