PRINT January 1984


Francis Bacon

In light of his book Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation, Paris: Editions de la difference, 1981 (published in two volumes, one of text, the other of reproductions), we asked the philosopher Gilles Deleuze to contribute the following related text.

THIS PAINTING IS OF A very special violence. Bacon, to be sure, often traffics in the violence of a depicted scene: spectacles of horror, crucifixions, prostheses and mutilations, monsters. But these are overly facile detours, detours that the artist himself judges severely and condemns in his work. What directly interests him is a violence that is only involved with color and feature: the violence of a sensation (and not of a representation), a static or potential violence, a violence of reaction and expression. For example, a cry rent from us by a foreboding of invisible forces: “to paint the cry rather than the horror . . .” In the long run

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