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It makes for a show that gives layers and layers of meaning and inference; one that you could easily visit again and again and always come away with something new. From Picasso to Velazquez is accompanied by detailed wall text narrating Bacons life and sources, and a revealing snippet tells of the influence of T S Eliots poems and plays on Bacon.
For the confusing flotsam and jetsam of life, beauty, sex, figures, death, meaning, confusion and of course artistic genius that make up Bacon and his legacy, the words of Eliots Waste Land seem utterly apt. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is currently featuring a retrospective of the 20th century British/Irish artist Francis Bacon.
One such moment was embarrassingly recently, with the Tates text-based campaign that revealed Bacons Triptych - August 1972.
You describe obsessive love as something you wouldnt wish on your worst enemy, it reads.
When I was younger the anguish and fervent, incomprehensible levels of emotion made me turn away from it, as though it was too much to bear.
It didnt seem overwhelming at first; I just thought it wasnt for me, until new ways of understanding gradually began to reveal themselves.
This show reveals the importance that Bacon attached to tradition and allows visitors to grasp one of the keys to his creative impetus.