TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT Summer 1975

Francis Bacon: The Authority of Flesh

I. INTRODUCTION: THE PROBLEM OF REALISM

And the way I try to bring appearance about makes one question all the time what appearance is at all. The longer you work, the more the mystery deepens of what appearance is, or how can what is called appearance be made in another medium. And it needs a sort of moment of magic to coagulate color and form so that it gets the equivalent of appearance, the appearance that you see at any moment, because so-called appearance is only riveted for one moment as that appearance. In a second you may blink your eyes or turn your head slightly, and you look again and the appearance has changed. I mean, appearance is like a continuously floating thing. (Francis Bacon, Interview with David Sylvester, September 1974.)

Bacon’s show at the Metropolitan consists of 36 paintings, largely portraits and self-portraits, all of which have been executed since 1968. The

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