Francis Bacon and the Loss of Self
According to most of the critical commentary on Francis Bacon, the paintings by this crucially important artist are about violence, torment, fragmentation and loss. However, Ernst van Alphen argues that it is the violence done to the viewer that needs to be addressed if we are to understand how these works function.
In this provocative and highly original interpretation of Bacon's art, the author offers close readings of significant works, discussing them in relationship to theories of schizophrenia, masculinity and contemporary literature, as well as issues of representation and visuality. By looking at the paintings in intricate detail and exploring their connections within cultural theory, van Alphen brings Bacon into the context of the contemporary critical debate.
"This examination of critical reactions to Bacon is very welcome"—The Art Newspaper
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aesthetic argue Bacon's figures Bacon's paintings Bakhtin Barthes Bersani bodily Brakman's Bryson cage structure central panel chapter conception construction of masculinity conventions Crucifixion culture deformed Deleuze depicted desire detection diegetic discourse Djuna Barnes Eliot's Poem evoked experience figure's fragmented Francis Bacon gaze genre George Dyer Gogh Human Body iconic identity impasto Isabel Rawsthorne left panel lesbian lesbian love light looking loss Lucian Freud male body male figure metaphor metonymically mirror mise en abyme modernist motif mystery novel narrative of perception narrative reading narratology Nightwood object oil on canvas outer panels panel of Triptych penis perspective pope Pope Innocent X postmodern postmodernist Private collection reflection repres represented right panel Robin Roland Barthes schizophrenia seems self/other relationship semiotic sense sexual shadow signified situation of death space stimuli story Studies of Lucian Study for Portrait suggests theory three panels Three Studies tion traditional undermine viewer violence vision William Blake
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