Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Head I

Artist:
Francis Bacon (British, Dublin 1909–1992 Madrid)
Date:
1947–48
Medium:
Oil and tempera on board
Dimensions:
39 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. (100.3 x 74.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Richard S. Zeisler, 2007
Accession Number:
2007.247.1
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Head I is the earliest of Bacon’s six portrait-format works included in his first exhibition at Erica Brausen’s Hanover Gallery, London, in 1949. Bacon here reduces the human form to a snarling mouth with fangs that leaves little doubt about its animal origins. The heavy impasto creates a texture that has been compared to rhinoceros skin—or, as critic Robert Melville wrote at the time, the “color of wet, black snakes lightly powdered with dust.”
[Redfern Gallery, London, 1948]; [Hanover Gallery, London, in 1949; to Redfern Gallery]; [Redfern Gallery, London, by 1953–58; sold in 1958 to Feigen]; [Richard Feigen Gallery, Chicago, 1958–61; sold on May 8, 1961 to Zeisler]; Richard S. Zeisler, New York (1961–d. 2007; his bequest to MMA)

London. Redfern Gallery. "Summer Exhibition," July 1–September 25, 1948, no. 161.

London. Hanover Gallery. "Francis Bacon, Paintings. Robin Ironside, Coloured Drawings," November 8–December 10, 1949, no. 5.

London. Hanover Gallery. "Posters: Picasso, Matisse, Léger, Braque, Miró, etc: Francis Bacon, Recent Paintings: Hilly, Paintings," September 14–October 21, 1950, no. 24.

Leeds City Art Gallery. "Fifteen Contemporary British Painters," December 7, 1950–January 7, 1951, no. 9.

Vancouver Art Gallery. "21 Modern British Painters," April 3–22, 1951, no. 1 (as "Head," 1948, lent by the Hanover Gallery, London).

Seattle Art Museum. "21 Modern British Painters," May 1951, no. 1.

San Jose Museum of Art. "21 Modern British Painters," June 1951, no. 1.

San Francisco. M. H. de Young Memorial Museum. "21 Modern British Painters," July 1951, no. 1.

Salt Lake City. location unknown. "21 Modern British Painters," August 1951, no. 1.

Portland, Ore. Portland Art Museum. "21 Modern British Painters," September 1951, no. 1.

London. Redfern Gallery. "The Coronation Exhibition –Contemporary British Paintings–1953," May–July 1953, no. 48.

London. Redfern Gallery. "Summer Exhibition," July 7–August 27, 1955, no. 267 (as "Head") [probably this picture].

London. Redfern Gallery. "Summer Exhibition," July 5–September 1, 1956, no. 10 [probably this picture].

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège. "Metavisual Tachiste Abstract–Peinture Anglaise Contemporaine," May 4–26, 1957, no. 9 (as "Tête").

London. Redfern Gallery. "Summer Exhibition," July 2–August 30, 1958, no. 70 (as "Head") [probably this picture].

Chicago. Richard L. Feigen & Co. "Francis Bacon: 12 Paintings, 1947–1958," July 6–August 1, 1959, no. 1.

Art Galleries, University of California at Los Angeles. "Francis Bacon/ Hyman Bloom," October 30–December 11, 1960, brochure no. 1 (lent by the Richard Feigen Gallery, Chicago).

New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Francis Bacon," October 1963–January 1964, not in catalogue [addendum to checklist; lent by Richard S. Zeisler, New York].

Art Institute of Chicago. "Francis Bacon," January 24–February 23, 1964, not in catalogue.

Kunstverein in Hamburg. "Francis Bacon, Gemälde 1945–1964," January 23–February 21, 1965, no. 3 (as "Kopf 1," lent by Richard S. Zeisler, New York).

Moderna Museet, Stockholm. "Francis Bacon: Målningar 1945–1964," February 27–April 4, 1965, no. 3 (as "Huvud I," 1948, lent by Richard S. Zeisler, New York).

The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin. "Francis Bacon," April–May 1965, no. 3 (lent by Richard S. Zeisler, New York).

Caracas. Museo de Bellas Artes. "Cuatro maestros contemporáneos: Giacometti, Dubuffet, De Kooning, Bacon," April–May 1973, unnumbered cat. (lent by Richard S. Zeisler, New York).

Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogatá. "Cuatro maestros contemporáneos: Giacometti, Dubuffet, De Kooning, Bacon," May 30–June 28, 1973, unnumbered cat.

Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City. "Cuatro maestros contemporáneos del arte figurativo: Giacometti, Dubuffet, De Kooning, Bacon," July 19–August 24, 1973, unnumbered cat.

Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand. "4 mestres contemporâneos: Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon," September 13–October 7, 1973, no. b/1 (lent by Richard S. Zeisler, New York).

Rio de Janeiro. Museu de Arte Moderna. "4 mestres contemporâneos: Giacometti, Dubuffet, De Kooning, Bacon," October 15–November 4, 1973, no. b/1.

Des Moines Art Center. "Art in Western Europe: The Postwar Years 1945–1955," September 19–October 29, 1978, no. 1 (dated 1948; lent by Richard S. Zeisler, New York).

London. Tate Gallery. "Francis Bacon," May 22–August 18, 1985, no. 6 (dated 1948; lent by Richard S. Zeisler Collection, New York).

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. "Francis Bacon," October 10, 1985–January 5, 1986, no. 6.

Nationalgalerie Berlin. "Francis Bacon," February 7–March 31, 1986, no. 6.

Basel. Galerie Beyeler. "Francis Bacon: Retrospektive," June 12–September 12, 1987, no. 1 (dated 1948; lent by a private collection).

Washington, D. C. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution. "Francis Bacon," October 12, 1989–January 7, 1990, no. 4 (dated 1948; lent by Richard S. Zeisler Collection, New York).

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Francis Bacon," February 11–April 29, 1990, no. 4.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Francis Bacon," May 31–August 28, 1990, no. 4.

Venice. Museo Correr. "Venice Biennale. 45th International Exhibition of Art. Figurabile: Francis Bacon," June 13–October 10, 1993, no. 2 (dated 1948; lent by Richard S. Zeisler Collection).

Paris. Centre Georges Pompidou. "Francis Bacon," June 27–October 14, 1996, no. 8 (dated 1948; lent by Richard S. Zeisler Collection, New York).

Haus der Kunst, Munich. "Francis Bacon," November 4, 1996–January 31, 1997, no. 8.

Humlebaek. Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst. "Francis Bacon," January 23–April 26, 1998, no. 1 (as "Head 1 [Hoved 1]," lent by Richard S. Zeisler Collection, New York).

New Haven. Yale Center for British Art. "Francis Bacon: A Retrospective Exhibition," January 25–March 21, 1999, no. 4 (lent by Richard S. Zeisler Collection, New York).

Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "Francis Bacon: A Retrospective Exhibition," April 8–May 27, 1999, no. 4.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor. "Francis Bacon: A Retrospective Exhibition," June 13–August 2, 1999, no. 4.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. "Francis Bacon: A Retrospective Exhibition," August 20–October 15, 1999, no. 4.

Dublin. Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. "Francis Bacon in Dublin," June 1–August 31, 2000, no. 6.

Edinburgh. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. "Francis Bacon: Portraits and Heads," June 4–September 4, 2005, no. 2 (dated 1948; lent by Richard S. Zeisler Collection, New York).

Hamburger Kunsthalle. "Francis Bacon: Die Portraits," October 13, 2005–January 15, 2006, no. 1 (dated 1948, lent by Richard S. Zeisler, New York).

London. Tate Britain. "Francis Bacon," September 11, 2008–January 4, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 114).

Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Francis Bacon," February 3–April 19, 2009, unnumbered cat. (as "Cabeza I").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective," May 18–August 16, 2009, unnumbered cat.

London. Tate Britain. "Picasso and Modern British Art," February 15–July 15, 2012, no. 99.

Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Francis Bacon: Five Decades," November 17, 2012–February 24, 2013, unnumbered cat. (p. 96).

Michel Leiris. Francis Bacon: Full Face and in Profile. New York, 1983, no. 5, as in the collection of Richard S. Zeisler, New York.

Dawn Ades and Andrew Forge. Francis Bacon. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. New York, 1985, p. 14, ill. and colorpl. 6.

Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2007–2008." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 66 (Fall 2008), p. 49, ill. (color).

Chris Stephens in Picasso and Modern British Art. Ed. James Beechey and Chris Stephens. Exh. cat., Tate Britain. London, 2012, pp. 160–61, 231, no. 99, ill. (color).



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