Francis Bacon at the BBC | The artist discusses his paintings and influences
CHANNEL | Unknown
RECORDED | circa 1965
DURATION | 18 minutes 12 seconds
This pilot for a live arts discussion programme was never broadcast, although the series that followed ran for over 130 editions. In this excerpt, Julian Jebb interviews Francis Bacon about his contemporaries in the art world, his working practices and his personal philosophies, such as his belief that true abstract painting is nothing more than 'lyrical, charming and decorative'.
As was common at the time, this interview concludes with both participants reaching for their cigarettes. Having cigarettes, and occasionally alcohol, on hand for intimate discussions such as this was thought to be a good way to get the guests to relax. In this interview, Bacon references a piece he wrote about Matthew Smith for a 1953 Tate exhibition of Smith's work. He claimed at the time that Smith's art made 'a direct assault upon the nervous system' and cited him as an influence on his own work.
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'I'll go on until I drop'; Francis Bacon's last interview.
Why was a Velazquez portrait such an enduring source of inspiration for Francis Bacon?
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