Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty celebrates the centenary of Francis Bacon’s birth in 63, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin. Co-curated by Barbara Dawson and Martin Harrison.
This exhibition comprising paintings, drawings, photographs, unfinished works and slashed canvases offered the viewer an astonishing new look at Francis Bacon, the great figurative painter of the 20th century. It provided an opportunity to reappraise his oeuvre through the selected paintings, several of which have not been on public exhibition for many years. The mastery of Francis Bacon is revealed through these works, supported by an extensive and previously unseen selection of items from Bacon’s Studio. Following on the donation of the Studio to the Hugh Lane by John Edwards in 1998, the 7,000 plus items retrieved from the studio were archived by Hugh Lane Gallery. Francis Bacon’s Studio has been on permanent exhibition at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane since 2001. It is acknowledged as one of the most pioneering and successful realisations of preserving and displaying an artist’s studio and contents. The database is unprecedented, documenting every item retrieved, thus providing fascinating insights into Bacon’s working processes. Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty was one of the major European cultural events of 2009.