In the 20th Century art world, three artists stand out for taking their investigation of the human figure to extremes: Picasso, Giacometti and Bacon. They could only challenge the human form by deforming it to varying degrees of intensity, sometimes going as far as to vandalise and render unbearable the attractive features of the face that centuries of classical art had succeeded in enhancing and imposing. Picasso was obsessed by fragmentation, Giacometti haunted by the flow of lines, Bacon consumed by the dizzying impact of presence, but they all aspired to the same thing: celebrating the elusive and addictive human figure.
Picasso played an essential role in Bacon deciding to become a painter. Giacometti and Picasso knew each other well, although their relationship could be rather tempestuous. Bacon and Giacometti moved in the same circles in London in 1965 and held each other in high esteem. This reunion of prints from the three artists seeks to evoke the links between these key figures of the 20th Century.
Pablo Picasso, born in Malaga, Spain, became the central artist of the 20th Century as much for his formal contribution as for his political stances. Having blazed a trail through modern art with his copious production, Picasso is permanently celebrated around the world.
Swiss-born Alberto Giacometti became one of the leading modern sculptors. Also a painter and artist, he dedicated his work to the search for the representation of vision, notably of the human form. In 1926, he moved to Montparnasse and worked in a studio that the Institut Giacometti has reconstituted and now uses for temporary exhibitions.
A self-taught English artist, Francis Bacon reinvented mythology with images of human bodies and portraits capturing the disasters and convulsions of existence. A retrospective of his work is currently organised at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Press release courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris.