‘Bacon’s Women’ Technical University

Held at the Technical University of Cologne, after my participation in the exhibition ‘Bacon’s Women’ at Ordovas Gallery, New York, this seminar explores the pivotal role women played in Francis Bacon’s painting, his development as a painter and as an inspiration for his work.

Although Francis Bacon’s figures on beds, male nudes and large triptychs of his male companions have been widely written about, far less attention has been paid to the women that played an instrumental role in Bacon’s life and were central to his development. Bacon painted more female than male nudes and his depiction of women and the merging of genders is unique in the canon of male painters of his time.

From female dealers, drinking companions and close female friends, Bacon surrounded himself with strong women— replacements for the mother who had been callously indifferent to her son’s brutal beatings.

Henrietta Moraes, interviewed in my film ‚Model and Artist; Henrietta Moraes and Francis Bacon’ – was Francis Bacon’s most frequent female subject, painted no less than twenty three times. The interview with Henrietta, filmed at the Marlborough Gallery in London, offers great insight into the working methods of the painter as well as the nature of his relationships to women. 

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‚Model and Artist; Henrietta Moraes and Francis Bacon’ has been included in the Francis Bacon Retropectives at the Centre Pompidou Paris, the Haus der Kunst Munich, the exhibition ‘Francis Bacon; The Human Body’ at the Hayward Gallery London and in the exhibition ‚Bacon’s Women’ at Ordovas Gallery, New York- the first exhibition in the United States to focus on Francis Bacon’s female subjects.