• Rembrandt-Harmenz. van Rijn Self-Portrait with Beret, circa 1659, (detail) Musee-Granet, Aix-en-Provence

  • Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt installation view, Photography by Mike Bruce

  • Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt installation view, Photography by Mike Bruce

  • Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt installation view, Photography by Mike Bruce

  • Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt installation view, Photography by Mike Bruce

  • Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt installation view, Photography by Mike Bruce

  • Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt installation view, Photography by Mike Bruce

  • Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt installation view, Photography by Mike Bruce

  • Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt installation view, Photography by Mike Bruce

Irrational Marks
Bacon and Rembrandt

07 October – 16 December 2011

Gallery Hours:
Tue-Fri: 10:00-18:00
Sat: 11:00-15:00


Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt is Ordovas’ inaugural exhibition and the first to be devoted to exploring the connections and influences of Rembrandt’s late self-portraits on Francis Bacon’s own self-portraits. Bacon considered Rembrandt’s self- portraits the artist’s greatest works. He spoke in depth about Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait with Beret in the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence, which he often visited, yet his creative dialogue with Rembrandt’s art has been, until now, largely overlooked.

Bacon kept a number of documents and source images relating to Rembrandt’s work in his studio. They were clearly working documents and no doubt provided him with inspiration. Some of them will be shown here, covered in paint and in many cases folded. It was one of these images, Irving Penn’s 1962 photograph of Francis Bacon in his studio with a pinned-up, paint-spattered image of the Rembrandt he most admired in the background, that planted the seed for this exhibition.

In 2006, Pilar Ordovas handled the estate of Valerie Beston, the owner of that photograph and the person who looked after Francis Bacon at Marlborough Gallery most of his working life. It was then that Ordovas envisioned this exhibition, which will be the first in her own gallery. Today, thanks to the support of the Musée Granet, the Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane, the Estate of Francis Bacon, many private collectors, and the encouragement and expertise of Martin Harrison, one of the most eminent Bacon scholars and editor of the forthcoming Francis Bacon catalogue raisonné, and of Taco Dibbits, Director of the Rijksmuseum Collections, that dream has become a reality.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Martin Harrison and Taco Dibbits. As well as Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait with Beret, from circa 1659, the exhibition includes rarely seen Francis Bacon self-portraits from private collections, Irving Penn’s Francis Bacon from 1962, and all the material relating to Rembrandt from Bacon’s studio in South Kensington. “Well, if you think of the great Rembrandt self-portrait in Aix-en-Provence, for instance, and if you analyse it, you will see that there are hardly any sockets to the eyes, that it is almost completely anti-illustrational. I think that the mystery of fact is conveyed by an image being made out of non-rational marks.” (Francis Bacon quoted in David Sylvester, Interviews with Francis Bacon, 1975, p 58).

For further information please contact the gallery at
london@ordovasart.com or at +44 (0)20 7287 5013

Film

Sunday Night Francis Bacon. Interview with David Sylvester. BBC Television; dir. Michael Gill, 1966.

Catalogue

Irrational Marks
Bacon and Rembrandt

Introduction by Pilar Ordovas and essays
by Taco Dibbits and Martin Harrison

8 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches (24.5 x 31.7cm);
87 pages; fully illustrated in colour
Designed by Sinead Madden, London

Weight: 780g

ISBN 978–0–9570287–0–8

£50.00

If you would like to purchase the catalogue, please contact the gallery at london@ordovasart.com

or follow the link below:
www.amazon.co.uk/irrationalmarks

Press Release

More

Links

bbc.co.uk/archive/bacon

Discussion evening

Bacon and Rembrandt: ambiguity, fact, abstraction.

In December 2011 Ordovas hosted a panel discussion with Martin Harrison, the eminent Bacon scholar and editor of the forthcoming Francis Bacon catalogue raisonée, Xavier Bray, Chief Curator of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and Pilar Ordovas.

Press Articles

Harper's Bazaar
... Find power in paint

Time Out
Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt

Financial Times
Visual Arts Jackie Wullschlager

The Spectator
Anything goes

Independent on Sunday - The New Review
Seeing double
He brutally mutilated the Old Masters self-portraits – then endlessly echoed them.
But just how influenced was Francis Bacon by Rembrandt? Charles Darwent explores a new exhibition that attempts to paint a clearer picture.

The Art Newspaper
Going back in time: the next big thing
Modern and contemporary art fairs are encouraging crossover collecting with a renewed focus on older art

Intelligent Life
Darkness visible
Simon Willis explores Rembrandt's influence on Francis Bacon at "Irrational Marks", an exhibition at Ordovas in London ...

Reuters
New show examines artist Bacon's debt to Rembrandt

Fad
Ordovas Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt Review by Naomi Richmond-Swift

Vogue
The Big Frieze

The Evening Standard
Quality beyond price at Ordovas Gallery

The Times
Self-prortaits shine spotlight on Bacon's debt to Rembrandt