Francis Bacon – Asger Jorn – The Aesthetics of Evil

A series of articles to learn about Modern Art

Francis Bacon (1910 – 1992)

A self-taught artist, Bacon worked intermittently during the 1930s, but by 1944 he was exhibiting his paintings with variations on the subject of the human body in a closed pose. nailed on the cross. The exhibition has attracted great attention from the public. Bacon’s gruesome images, his incessant reference to mercilessly disfigured forms, have repeatedly caused art scandals in the UK, earning him a reputation as one of the world’s greatest painters. the fiercest, fiercest image of the post-war period.


Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X

I want to create images that reflect all sorts of things that I instinctively perceive of my species and I want, in my own way, to bring the viewer closer to actual human beings. Now that is a very difficult thing. You think that the way I distort the images – which for me, is the way to bring me closer to humanity than sitting down and illustrating someone – can cause many others to disagree like In a way, on an instinctive level, there are exceptions. Whether or not this actually works, I don’t know – but for myself it does – it brings me closer to the essence of being a human being. I come closer by going further.

All the works I like have had the same effect on me – they make me see other things. They make me aware of reality, even though the work itself does not seem to conform to realism. All I can say is this – these works take the sensory valves apart.

Death is the only absolute thing we know in this life. Death is absolute determinism. The artist understands he can’t beat it but I think most artists are well aware of nothingness – nothingness follows them like a shadow and I think that’s one of the reasons that most artists Artists are aware of the vulnerability and emptiness of life.

For me, everything has two sides. For example, I like what is so perfect. I like perfection on an epic scale. In a way, I like to live in very large places. But because in painting people create chaos and so I like to live in chaos with memories and ruins left with people. I think all of us have this duality. On the one hand we like disorder; on the other hand we like order. We must fight for order.

Painting is at a strange stage right now because it’s hard to draw now figuratively and abstract art seems to be a logical continuation but here’s the trouble: in fact, it’s all abstract schools became like decorative arts and because it’s free imagination and you can draw anything that looks cool, while pictograms are hard, avoiding drawing The human body is like a picture that seems impossible. A photo in this case is better.


Trilogy of human form research in crucified position 1

The trio of human body studies in the crucified position (2)

The trio of studies of the human form in the crucified position (3)

sea ​​Pearl Translate

The source: Twentieth – Century Artists on Dore Ashton, NY:Pantheon Books, 1985, pp. 138-140.

Asger Jorn (1914-1973)

Born in Denmark, Jorn studied fine art in the 1930s with Léger and Le Corbussier, but after World War II he abandoned mainstream painting in favor of the Expressionism style that was in vogue at the time. . Not only painting, he also acted as the leading theorist of the Cobra movement, which was formed in Brussels in 1948, and wrote many important essays on the origins of artistic motives.


The artist’s relationship with literature is one of hostile complicity; called “hostile” because of the risk that the painting could become “literary”; called “complicit” because painting cannot exist without literary inspiration; but painting becomes dull if it doesn’t follow its inherent rules.

La Fleur du mal, 1946

Anything new is truly repulsive, for it is unusual and unreasonable. True ugliness is as rare as beauty. Tension in a work of art is created by two positive and negative poles: aversion and attraction, ugliness-beauty. If one of these poles is dropped, only boredom will remain.

The creative train of thought departs from: the unexpected, the unknown, the random, the disorderly, the absurd, the impossible.

In every true experiment, there must be a moment where predictability is zero (a moment of zero predicality).

Even the most faithful reproduction of a work of art loses its tension. The reason is simple. In every truly creative act, the artist always feels homeless (depayse). To overcome this situation, he must mobilize his last reserves of strength. The mobilization of all sources of creativity and form, the passionate struggle for this medium, cannot be imitated. It is something that each person does for himself. This explains the mystical power of art.


sea ​​Pearl Translate

The source: Twentieth – Century Artists on Dore Ashton, NY:Pantheon Books, 1985, page 120. (Title given by translator)

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