Surrounding Bacon & Warhol Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art Oslo, Norway May 5 – October 23
This spring, the works of two legendary classics of the fine arts – the expressionist Francis Bacon (1909-1991) and the pop-art pioneer Andy Warhol (1928-1987), have found a home at Oslo's Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit “Surrounding Bacon and Warhol” will be on view until October 23.
The individualistic handwriting of the creative experiments of both Bacon and Warhol reflect the two personalities' differing lives and approaches to the creative world. Nevertheless, both noticeably influenced the development of contemporary art.
If painter's canvas could produce audible sound, then Francis Bacon's paintings would howl in a mind-numbing tone.
The contradictory creations of the eccentric artist generate two kinds of associations – his art is either loved, or it is utterly incomprehensible. His paintings magically attract, seeming as if the presence of the painter himself encourages you to look deeper into the soul of the work, after which you just want to curl up into a ball and hide somewhere deeper within the lobby of the exposition.
Of Irish origin, the British painter Francis Bacon is known in the art world as the author of paintings with homoerotic subject matter, of surreal images, and of enigmatic and alarm-causing stories. His creations have always been very personal and dramatic. Since 1950, and up to the last days of both his artistic career and life at the beginning of the 1990's, Bacon painted only from photographs. His work is permeated with unifying themes which, periodically surfacing, tell of the individual's loneliness, delirium, emotional hardships and periods of strength and breakdown.
Working in his own peculiar technique of painting, Bacon used paints, brushes, his fingers, pieces of cloth and even the dust of his studio. His figural compositions feature male portraits, deformed body parts, apes and images of screaming priests, either sitting or standing, in isolated, claustrophobic interiors without windows, as if in their own enclosed, private hell.
Andy Warhol, on the other hand, perceived art as a game, bringing the 1960's bubble of popular culture into the niche of high art.
This expanse of two contrasting worlds of art – Warhol's and Bacon's range of work, is supplemented with the work of other artists of the 20th and 21st centuries – inspired pieces by artists such as Erro, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Martin Kippenberger. These are artists who were capable of looking in the direction of expressionism and pop-art, but created works through their own individual prisms.