11 Feb 2010

The Texture of Uncertainty [4] Figure Study I, 1945-46. Deleuze on Bacon, Painting Series.

by Corry Shores
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[I am profoundly grateful to the sources of these images:

[The following is quotation. My commentary is bracketed in red.]

The Texture of Uncertainty

Francis Bacon

Figure Study I, 1945-46
Private Collection, Great Britain

Painting 8 of Deleuze's
Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Tome II - Peintures
Painting [4] of the English translation
and Painting [8] of the Seuil 2002 French

What fills the rest of the painting will be neither a landscape as the correlate of the Figure, nor a ground from which the form will emerge, nor a formless chiaroscuro, a thickness of color on which shadows would play, a texture on which variation would play. Yet we are moving ahead too quickly. For there are indeed, in Bacon's early works, landscape-Figures like the Van Gogh of 1957 [23]; there are extremely shaded textures, as in Figure in a Landscape (1945) [2] and Figure Study I (1945-6) [4] (Deleuze, 2003: 3bc)

Ce qui remplit le reste du tableau, ce ne sera pas un paysage comme corrélat de la figure, ni un fond dont surgirait la forme, ni un informel, clair-obscur, épaisseur de la couleur où se joueraient les ombres, texture où se jouerait la variation. Nous allons trop vite pourtant. Il y a bien, ou début de l'oeuvre, des Figures-paysages comme le Van Gogh de 1957 ; il y a des textures extrêmement nuancées, comme « Figure dans un Paysage » ou « Figure étude I », de 1945 (Deleuze, 2002: 13d)

[Normally in Bacon's paintings, there are figures seemingly pinned to a monochrome surrounding field lying at about the same depth as the figure.

(Thanks artnet.com)

However, in this painting, there is the textured beam in the background that dominates what would be a blank field in his later works.]

However, Deleuze considers this blotchy region to be a precursor to Bacon's later involuntary free marks and asignifying traits.]

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation. Transl. Daniel W. Smith. London/New York: Continuum, 2003.

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Paris: Seuil, 2002.

Images obtained gratefully from:

Figure Study I, 1945-46 and the fragment
© Estate of Francis Bacon 2004. All Rights Reserved, DACS

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