New York

Francis Bacon

Metropolitan Museum of Art

With photographs of and information about his two long-term lovers and various statements about his abusive parents supplementing the “twisted” relationship of the perversely intertwined figures in many of his triptychs and his use of “universal” Christian iconography, above all the crucifixion, this exhibition offered a good deal of evidence to support the idea of Francis Bacon as a homosexual, sadomasochist “outlaw,” someone obsessed with violence and suffering, his own and humanity’s in general.

Bacon was certainly one of the great artist-explorers of the psyche’s murky depths, yet to overemphasize his psychodramatic homosexuality and not so subliminal perversity and aggression is to miss the aesthetic brilliance of his painting, amply evident in the sixty-six canvases on view in this exhibition (co-organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Tate Modern, where it was on view last

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