Born in Dublin, Bacon (1909-1992) moved between London, Berlin and Paris in the 1920s where he discovered and was influenced by the films of Eisenstein and Lang and the paintings of Picasso, Poussin and Velazquez. Before emerging as one of Britain’s most significant painters Bacon was an interior designer, translating his keen eye for interiors into the staging for his portraits. Painted at a time when he had gained widespread acclaim, this figure, one of a series of studies of a suited man, is both powerful and vulnerable. Sitting on a throne-like chair and set against a midnight blue background, he is framed and confined by a second dark interior.
Creating an immersive environment artist James Richards accompanies the painting with a sound installation of public silences – acts of mourning, remembrance, or suspenseful pauses in films. Singers inhale and pause before breaking into song while church bells fill the gallery with ambient sound.
The V-A-C collection brings together important modern and contemporary art from around the world. The V-A-C Foundation supports Russian artists in creative partnerships.
The Collection Displays Programme is generously supported by Hiscox.