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Francis Bacon, artist, Paris, April 11, 1979 – Richard Avedon
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À propos de l'objet

Richard Avedon\nFrancis Bacon, artist, Paris, April 11\n1979\nGelatin silver print.\n40 x 63 in. (101.6 x 160 cm)\nSigned, numbered 9/10 in pencil, copyright credit reproduction limitation, title, date and edition stamps on the verso.
US
NY, US
US

year

1979

notes

"My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph."-Richard AvedonRichard Avedon’s portraits, set against a stark white backdrop, are lauded for their ability to convey the core of Avedon’s subjects, their being. The portraits, therefore, are far more than a static tracing of physical likeness. Rather, they are akin to a fingerprint that bears the unequivocal genetic code of the sitter without relying on any clichéd characteristics. Essence, therefore, takes precedence over matter, and spirit trumps resemblance. This could underline Avedon’s assertion that “All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.” In that regard, for Avedon a photograph is not about capturing an absolute reality but rather whatever the subject has chosen to project in front of the lens. “A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he is being photographed,” Avedon said, “and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he's wearing or how he looks.”The current work presents Irish artist Francis Bacon, renowned for his deeply raw and expressive portraits. Bacon’s own subjects were largely of friends, peers and loved ones, from Lucian Freud to George Dyer and John Edwards, all rendered in the same immediately recognizable style, their faces often partially smeared with distorted strokes. Yet in addition to the portraits of his loved ones, Bacon also created a number of self-portraits. “I loathe my own face,” he confessed four years before Avedon’s portrait was taken. “I’ve done a lot of self-portraits, really because people have been dying around me like flies and I’ve nobody else left to paint but myself.” As such, self-portraits became a reminder of loss, or in other words, studies of the emotions that ensue—from grief to sadness to confusion and a host of others affiliated with bereavement. It is befitting, therefore, that he posed for Avedon, with his own penchant for undeniably—even if subtly—expressive portraits.The dual portrait format is in keeping with Bacon’s preference for sequential studies of his own subjects. In the left frame Bacon appears to intently stare into the lens, his mouth a little agape, his brow scrunched into a deep furrow, his skin marked by grooves and crevices that allude to his biographical canyons. He fully returns the viewers’ gaze, one eyebrow lifted as if caught mid-sentence, surprised. His engagement is ineluctable. The right frame depicts him standing further back, his left hand partially over his mouth, his look introspective. The cropping in this frame strategically places Bacon in partial view, as if hiding behind his own portrait on the left side. By doing so, Avedon may have intended to present two versions of Bacon: one of the public figure—up close and almost confrontational, the other more private and pensive as it recedes in the background. Indeed, the lot is a portrait of a deeply emotional sitter and famously astute photographer.Other prints of this image are in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

title

Francis Bacon, artist, Paris, April 11

medium

Gelatin silver print.

signed

Signed, numbered 9/10 in pencil, copyright credit reproduction limitation, title, date and edition stamps on the verso.

creator

Richard Avedon

condition

Neutral toned print on semi-gloss, double weight paper with margins, hinged to board. Extremely light, minor retouching and a few light, minor creases, all visible mostly under raking light. This work is framed.

dimensions

40 x 63 in. (101.6 x 160 cm)

literature

Avedon, Richard Avedon: Portraits, n.p. Avedon, An Autobiography, pl. 214 Random House, Richard Avedon: Evidence 1944-1994, pp. 56, 161

provenance

Acquired directly from the artistStephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco


*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.

*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.


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