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  • Posts Tagged ‘George Dyer’

    CROUCHING DYER, HIDDEN BACON

    Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

    Francis Bacon’s haunting Portrait of George Dyer Crouching comes up at Sotheby’s contemporary art evening auction in New York in May. It is the first in a series of ten monumental portraits of Dyer created between 1966 and 1968 and it has never been on the auction market before. Dyer is portrayed shirtless, crouched over his discarded shirt like a predator over his prey, his head depicted in triplicate as it turns towards the viewer, combining Dyer’s face with Bacon’s, nodding to their indivisibility. This image of the entwined head is among the best examples within Bacon’s oeuvre – a significant motif that would persist throughout his work. The revolutionary impact that Dyer and Bacon had on each other’s lives can be felt palpably here, as the first painting in a series that would, over years, chronicle the seduction and sadness, frustration and fulfillment, tension and collapse that underlined one of the most tempestuous relationships in art history.

    It was acquired from The Marlborough Gallery in 1970 and has not been on the market since. It is the first full-scale portrait of Dyer at auction since another from this same cycle, George Dyer Talking, sold in 2014 for $70 million – establishing the record for any single-panel portrait by Bacon. The centerpiece of Francis Bacon: Man and Beast held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2022 Portrait of George Dyer Crouching is estimated at between $30 million and $50 million.

    BACON PORTRAIT OF GEORGE DYER AT SOTHEBY’S IN MARCH

    Friday, February 23rd, 2024
    Francis Bacon –  Study of George Dyer UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £6.8 MILLION

    Francis Bacon’s last intimately scaled portrait of his lover George Dyer shortly before his tragic death comes up at Sotheby’s in London on March 6. Acquired directly from the Marlborough Gallery in London in 1970, the year it was painted the portrait is charged with extraordinary intimacy and framed within a seductive dark background. The depiction of Dyer – at the time, the love of Bacon’s life – was selected by the artist for inclusion in his major retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris held in the autumn of 1971. The work was briefly seen in 1993, when it was included in an exhibition of the artist’s small portrait studies at the Marlborough Gallery, after which it went back onto its owners wall until now. It is estimated at £5 – £7 million.

    The major retrospective of Bacon’s work at the Grand Palais was of great personal significance to Bacon as it marked only the first time after Picasso – Bacon’s artist hero – that a living artist had been afforded a one-man show at the prestigious venue. The monumental occasion celebrating the artist’s already stellar career was, however, marred by an event which would leave Bacon grief-stricken: barely thirty-six hours before the opening, Dyer was found dead from an overdose of sleeping pills, exacerbated by alcohol abuse, in the hotel suite the pair shared. Despite suffering from numbing shock and a despairing guilt, Bacon continued with the opening apparently unabated, though the shadow Dyer cast over Bacon would linger for the rest of his life.

    The Dyer portrait leads a powerful and arresting group of twentieth-century artworks from a distinguished private collection at Sotheby’s in London this March.. Assembled with unfaltering energy and focus over some sixty years, the paintings, sculpture and drawings that comprise the collection are linked by a common thread – an unwavering interest in the human form by artists at the peak of their powers who sought to convey the emotions and forces that govern and dictate the human condition. Art by Chaïm Soutine, Jean Dubuffet, Henry Moore, Henri Matisse, Edouard Vuillard and Henri Hayden will be presented in Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary evening and day auctions on March 6 and 7. A further selection of works from this collection will be offered across a range of sales in London up until June. They were sourced principally in the late 1960s and the 1970s, chiefly from the leading London galleries of the moment such as Marlborough, Alex Reid & Lefevre, Waddington, Crane Kalman and Redfern.

    LAST OF BACON’S PORTRAITS OF GEORGE DYER AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

    Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

    Francis Bacon – Study for Portrait. Signed, titled and dated 1981 on the reverse ($12-18 MILLION)

    Francis Bacon’s Study for Portrait – the last of the artist’s famed portraits of his lover and muse George Dyer – is to come up at Sotheby’s in New York.  It is among the highlights from the Gerald L. Lennard Foundation Collection at the May  marquee auctions of Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art.  Other works include Willem de Kooning’s Untitled X from the group of works created in 1975 that marked the artist’s transition from a period of radical experimentation to the lush abstracts which are among his most celebrated and sought after works today; the most comprehensive group of late works by Philip Guston ever to appear at auction, including Legs, Rug, Floor from 1976 andRed Sky from 1978; and signature portraits by Frank Auerbarch depicting his wife Julia Wolstenhome and his friend Catherine Lampert.

    The Gerald L. Lennard Foundation’s interests include helping to promote programs involving visual and performing arts, healthcare, education and environmental sustainability.  Proceeds from the sale of the 37 works presented will help to benefit the Foundation’s mission now and in the future.

    Philip Guston Legs, Rug, Floor Signed, titled, and dated 1976 on the reverse ($6-8 MILLION)

    Willem de Kooning Untitled X Executed in 1975 ($8-12 MILLION)

    BACON POPE WITH DYER’S REFLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S

    Friday, September 15th, 2017

    Francis Bacon, Study of Red Pope 1962. 2nd Version 1971

    Francis Bacon’s landmark painting Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd version 1971,  will come up at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art evening sale on October 6 during Frieze Week.  It stands as the grand finale to his celebrated body of Papal portraits and is the only painting that unites the Pope with his greatest love George Dyer, who is depicted as the Pope’s reflection.

    First exhibited on 26 October 1971, in the legendary retrospective of Francis Bacon’s work at the Grand Palais in Paris, Study of Red Pope 1962,  2nd version 1971 was executed six months earlier in April 1971. It has been unseen in public for 45 years.  This is the first and only time in his oeuvre that Bacon united his two greatest obsessions: the Pope and George Dyer – his great muse and lover.

    The canvas became a tragic premonition of Dyer’s fateful end when, less than thirty-six hours before the opening of the career-defining exhibition, Dyer was found dead. Acquired by the family of the present owner in 1973 this work has appeared in all the major publications dedicated to Bacon’s work but never exhibited publicly.