Long lines at the gates of the Marlborough in Madrid to enjoy Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud

Rain and cold Madrid they have not been an obstacle for people to take to the streets. Nothing of that. You can see furs, wool hats, raincoats and coats more snowy than urban, large scarves, sturdy shoes and umbrellas. Maximum preparation for day plans, which are the most convenient due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, are enriching and fun. Remember: at 22 hours we must be home.

The center of the capital was busy (a lot), we felt that in a few hours they will turn off the city and we feel, almost immediately, that thirst that is often felt by the most enjoyable. Suddenly, we are not angry walking in the rain, or feeling the freezing cold on our faces, we do not even mind queuing to Five Grades to go in to see a movie, listen to a conference or contemplate an art exhibition. What’s more, we do it delighted because, during those waiting minutes many people take the opportunity to talk to each other more than they did before.

‘Francis Bacon & Lucian Freud. The human condition ‘

Francis Bacon, Studies of the Human Body 1979 (Central panel) · 1980, litografía offset, ed. de 250.

The human condition, you see, is surprising, sometimes incomprehensible and sometimes unclassifiable. About her, about human existence, is the new and successful exhibition ‘Francis Bacon & Lucian Freud. The human condition ‘ which has just opened in the Marlborough Gallery in Madrid, a room that has had dozens of people queuing along Orfila Street to see the work of the Irishman and the German, completely ignoring the cold of Madrid.

Belén Herrera Ottino, director of the Marlborough Gallery in Madrid and curator of the exhibition, ensures that, indeed, it has been a Saturday with more visits than usualIn fact, until around three o’clock in the afternoon the room had already passed more than 100-150 people in a constant trickle of very orderly entrances and exits.

«We are delighted with the response of the people, It has exceeded our expectations after an inauguration, also very unconventional due to the restrictions. We are making it a quiet and safe visit for everyone, that’s why this requirement that people queue outside and enjoy all the guarantees inside. Two great masters in Madrid, of course, and it is wonderful that it is having this great reception».

He also explains that the inaugurations have stopped giving the famous feasts so that everything is as safe as possible while we are in the middle of a pandemic. “The good thing is that the opening is not limited to two hours as we did before, but it is done throughout the day. It is very pleasant and pleasant for everyone, you enjoy much more“, Add.

“People’s response has exceeded our expectations”

Long lines at the gates of the Marlborough in Madrid to enjoy Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud
Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards (R.P) · 1984, litografía, ed. de 150.

«Something is happening to us, people are very grateful that we have mounted this exhibition at the moment, although with the storm we had to postpone the opening. But yes, cultural plans are very much appreciated and, furthermore, they are so attractive. We love that people come to enjoy Bacon and Freud“, Add.

The sample, specifically, gathers around 20 engravings by Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon among which the great triptych ‘Second Version of Triptych 1944’ by Bacon, one of the works from the year 89 in large format that dominates the center of the room.

«In the three lithographs of this crucifixion and as recognized by Bacon himself interviewed by David Sylvester, are the paintings of Picasso made at the end of the 1920s, those organic forms that suggest at the same time human images but in absolute distortion “, Herrera Ottino explains.

Francis Bacon, 2nd Version of Triptych 1944 (Large version) · 1989, lithograph on arches paper, 178.5 x 119.5 cm (each)
Francis Bacon, 2nd Version of Triptych 1944 (Large version) · 1989, lithograph on arches paper.

In the Freud etchings selected for the sample, all of them dated between 2004-2007, it is observed its characteristic emotional tension. You can also see some of the usual themes on his canvases: nudes (Before the Fourth, 2004), rhaunting portraits of friends and family (Portrait Head, 2005, New Yorker, 2006, The Painter’s Doctor, 2005 and Donegal Man, 2007) and lonely scenes (Girl with Fuzzy Hair, 2004).

Long lines at the gates of the Marlborough in Madrid to enjoy Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud
Lucian Freud, Before the fourth · 2004, engraving on Somerset paper, plate and paper.

«The German painter points out that engraving is for him an intimate and autobiographical format, which allows him to reflect what he feels and his experiences and in which he achieves a prodigious synthesis, all unnecessary elements are eliminated from the scene to achieve a hypnotic attraction for the essential; perhaps this is the reason why he has managed to achieve that degree of psychological intensity that surrounds its characters ”, highlights the director throughout the visit through the gallery rooms.

What unites the two artists apart from their friendship and admiration in life?

Long lines at the gates of the Marlborough in Madrid to enjoy Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud
Francis Bacon, Detail from Triptych 1971 (left panel) · 1975, offset lithograph, ed. of 200.

What unites the two artists apart from their friendship and admiration in life? Why have both been chosen by the prestigious gallery to join them in its rooms? Why should they dialogue through the images? Bacon and Freud were two artists who, although they were different in many ways, such as being more or less close to the models.

This is how you remember, for example, Sebastian Smee in his book ‘The art of rivalry’ (Taurus), «Bacon used multiple photographs for his portraits and needed that distance that was established with the character, while the opposite happens to Freud, requires a model presence during a continuous series of sessions».

Beyond this observation, Herrera Ottino also highlights that the two are united by «the absence of humor and its exploration and introspection in the solitude of the human being, its isolation. The inevitable pain of loneliness and the recognition that existence is temporary and that, as Mallarmé said “Meat is sad and, oh, I have read all the books”».


Source: okdiario.com by okdiario.com.

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