14 August, 2010

10 August - SFMOMA + Francis Bacon

LAUNCHPROJECTS - We spent 10 days traveling through Northern California - Sea Ranch, Napa Valley, and San Francisco. Ben will blog later about our culinary and oneological experiences. While Ben was reading of food, wine, and other sundry activities in Hemingway's Garden of Eden, I was consumed with Michael Peppiatt's biography of Francis Bacon, Anatomy of an Enigma. Fully aware of Bacon's penchant for drink and intense periods of masochistic
debauchery, this biography gave me new insight into why he painted the subjects he did and how his painting style paralleled his own carefully-guarded personal life. Peppiatt was a close friend of Bacon's and traveled with him for decades as both biographer and confidante. This book is not only a page-turning and well written tale, it also offers and tremendous details of one of the most guarded, enigmatic, and powerful artists of the 20th century.

While in San Francisco we toured the Fischer collection at SFMOMA. Doris and Donald Fisher, founders of the The Gap, built a stunning collection of over 1,000 works of art by the most iconic artists of the 20th Century including Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Anselm Kiefer, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and many more. Many of these works had never been previously exhibited and it is truly inspiring to see them all housed in such a lovely museum setting. On loan to the SFMOMA for the next 99 years, it is a mini-course in the history of modern and contemporary art and absolutely worth a visit.