11 Mar 2010

Pared Pairings. [12] Two Figures, 1953 Francis Bacon. Deleuze on Bacon, Painting Series

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

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

Pared Pairings

Francis Bacon

Two Figures, 1953
Private Collection, Great Britain

Painting 41 of Deleuze's
Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Tome II - Peintures
Painting [12] of the English translation
and Painting [76] of the Seuil 2002 French

Such is the case here, where the coupling of sensations from different levels creates the coupled Figure (and not the reverse). What is painted is the sensation. There is a beauty to these entangled Figures [69]. They do not merge with each other, but are rendered indiscernible by the extreme precision of the lines, which acquire a kind of autonomy in relation to the body, like a diagram whose lines would bring together nothing but sensation. [footnote 1] There is one Figure common to two bodies, or one "fact" common to two Figures, without the slightest story being narrated [12, 17, 60, 61]. (Deleuze 2003: 46-47)

C'est bien le cas ici, où l'accouplement des sensation à niveaux différents fait la Figure accouplée (et non; l'inverse). Ce qui est peint, c'est la sensation. Beauté de ces Figures mêlées [76]. Elles ne sont pas confondues, mais rendues indiscernables par l'extrême précision des lignes qui acquièrent une sorte d'autonomie par rapport aux corps : comme dans un diagramme dont les lignes n'uniraient que des sensations [note 59]. Il y a une Figure commune des deux corps, ou un « fait » commun des deux Figures, sans la moindre histoire à raconter [41, 17, 14 [[sic: 1]], 2]. (Deleuze 2002: 65-66)

[Bacon painted coupled figures to couple the sensations they give us. Scrambling marks tangle them together, even though each one strikes us in different varying ways. Because the irrational marks were randomly produced, they mix-up the elements of the painting in such a way that no story can be told to explain what we see, even though there is evidently something incredible happening.]

(Again, thanks

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.

Image obtained gratefully from:

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