by Guy Bourdin
C-type colour print, 1986
12 1/8 in. x 13 1/4 in. (307 mm x 335 mm) image size
Linked publicationsback to top
- 100 Photographs, 2018, p. 112 Read entry
Dublin-born Francis Bacon (1909-92) left Ireland at the age of sixteen, settling permanently in England in 1928. The work Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944, Tate) established him as an artist of international importance. Bacon used diverse source imagery and became known for his bold, abstracted figurative paintings with their tormented and powerful view of the human condition. Parisian-born Guy Bourdin (1928-91) was one of the most radical and influential fashion photographers of the twentieth century. His fusion of surreal and erotic imagery graced the pages of international magazines such as French Vogue during the 1970s and 1980s. Bourdin made this portrait of Bacon at the Marlborough Gallery in 1986. In the background the artist’s work Triptych - Study of a Self-Portrait (1985-6) can be glimpsed. Through the movement of the sitter, Bourdin recreates the swirling forms of Bacon’s painting.
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (Marlborough Gallery, London)
Events of 1986back to top
Current affairsHampton Court Palace is devastated by fire. Much of the third floor and the roof of the building were destroyed, although, thanks to the courage of the fire fighters, only one painting and one piece of furniture were ruined.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.
Art and sciencePoems on the Underground, the brainchild of American writer Judith Chernaik, is launched by London Underground. A rolling programme of poems is displayed in tube train carriages, bringing contemporary and classic poetry to commuters.
The Independent Newspaper is first published.
Artists, Gilbert and George win the Turner Prize.
InternationalAn explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station leads to nuclear meltdown in the reactor and causes massive nuclear contamination over Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, western Europe, the UK and Ireland, and even North America. The 2005 Chenobyl Forum attributed 56 direct deaths to the disaster and estimated that 9,000 people may die from some form of cancer as a result of exposure to radiation.
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