17 Feb 2010

Unconfined Spirals [64] Study of a Portrait of Lucian Freud (Sideways), 1971. Deleuze on Bacon, Painting Series

by Corry Shores
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[I am profoundly grateful to the sources of this image:
Credits given at the end.]

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

Unconfined Spirals

Francis Bacon

Study of a Portrait of Lucian Freud (Sideways), 1971
Private Collection, Brussels

Painting 3 of Deleuze's
Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Tome II - Peintures
Painting [64] of the English translation
and Painting [22] of the Seuil 2002 French

A round area often delimits the place where the person - that is to say, the Figure - is seated, lying down, doubled over, or in some other position. This round or oval area takes up more or less space : it can extend beyond the edges of the painting [64, 37] or occupy the center of a triptych [60, 61] (Deleuze 2003: 1bc)

Un rond délimite souvent le lieu où est assis le personnage, c'est-à-dire la Figure. Assis, couché, penché ou autre chose. Ce rond, ou cet ovale, tient plus ou moins de place : il peut déborder les côtés du tableau, être au centre d'un triptyque, etc. [22, 30]. (Deleuze 2002: 13-14)

[According to Deleuze, there are elements of the painting that create forces and tensions. These produce a sense of spontaneously changing movement in the painting. One simple way we experience these wrestling forces is in the manner our eyes are pushed-and-pulled in multiple directions at once. One source of the forces in Bacon's paintings are shapes that enclose the figure. They seem to apply pressure on the figure inside, who then pushes back and tries to escape from the constricting and contracting force. One such enclosing shape is a circle. Deleuze points to this case where the circle extends beyond the painting's edge.]

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.

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Tome II - Peintures. Paris: Editions de la différence [Littératures], 1981.

Images obtained gratefully from:

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