The exhibition links the work of Francis Bacon to the writings of Bohumil Hrabal and reveals that, although the two artists never met, they have much in common.
„If Bohumil Hrabal were a painter, he would paint like Francis Bacon.
If Francis Bacon were a writer, he would write like Bohumil Hrabal.“
The exhibition, for the first time in history, draws a parallel between the work of Francis Bacon and the writings by Bohumil Hrabal to prove that despite the fact that the two artists never met, they certainly did not create in a vacuum. Although they lived in different countries and used different art forms, the way they perceived the world around them was similar. the exhibition is organized by Vernon Gallery in collaboration with Gate Gallery & Information Center.
For the first time in the history of the Czech Republic, visitors will have the opportunity to see 35 large format drawings and several paintings by the famous figure painter Francis Bacon. the exhibition is supervised by an international team of curators, among whom the renowned Italian curator Serena Baccaglini, known in the Czech Republic as the author of the exhibition of works by Amedeo Modigliani (2010) or the exhibition Tauromaquia: Facing the Bull.
Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992)
The work of the famous Irish painter Francis Bacon has never been presented in Prague in its entirety. Francis Bacon started his artistic career in the 1920‘s. However, his work caused the greatest stir only after his death. Bacon’s early paintings are often compared to the works of Graham Sutherland. That said, Francis Bacon soon developed his own style and became interested in what can be described as “neo-figurative painting“ – a style that found new means of expression in focusing on the human figure and emotions. He drew inspiration from the paintings of old masters and from the formal aspect of Picasso’s or Poussin’s works, building also on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Photographs, X-ray pictures and films were yet another source of inspiration for Bacon. His paintings are a reaction to the world full of impersonal abstract art. Francis Bacon led a bohemian life that strongly influenced his work. His visions of nightmares expressing a strong suspense and excitement of the human psyche are particularly topical these days. His paintings have a surprising resonance in the present times, with contemporary art gravitating towards video art and new technologies.
Bohumil Hrabal (1914 – 1997)
The writer Bohumil Hrabal emerged in the first half of the 1960’s as one of the most original authors of modern Czech fiction. Influenced by the Decadent movement, he started to compose poems in the 1930’s and, at the turn of the 1940’s, wrote epic poems like Bambino di Praga or Krásná Poldi (The Beautiful Poldi). Although he later moved on to write prose, he never gave up composing poetry altogether. Hrabal’s prose is characteristic, above all, by its diversity and variability. the short stories published in his early books in the 1960’s (Perlička na dně – Pearls of the Deep, Pábitelé – the Palaverers) were mainly of the narrative type. However, Hrabal’s works also include experimental texts (Taneční hodiny pro starší a pokročilé – Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age). after 1970, Hrabal ended up with a several years’ ban on writing. His reaction to the dismal social and literary situation was another period of creative growth.
An auction of a work by Francis Bacon will be held in the course of the exhibition, offering collectors the unique opportunity to buy a piece by the famous figure painter. a certain part of the profit will be donated to charity.
Opening June 18, 2012
GATE Gallery and Information Centre
Husova 21, Prague 1
Mon - Sat 10:00 – 18:00, Sun 11:00 – 18:00
Full price ticket: 160 CZK