6 x Francis Bacon

6 x Francis Bacon

…and other highlights of the Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection

May 5, 2017 – February 18, 2018

Francis Bacon, Portrait, 1962 Francis Bacon, Portrait, 1962 The Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection / Winners of the Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen Start diashow

Inner conflict, isolation and violence are subjects that concerned Irish painter Francis Bacon. In acquiring the large-format painting “Portrait” from 1962, the Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection has succeeded once again in extending its representative group of his works. Owning a current total of six key paintings, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Siegen now houses one of the most important Bacon collections in Europe.

“What I do may be a lie, but it conveys reality more accurately.”
(Francis Bacon)

Francis Bacon (1909-1992) is regarded as one of the most important 20th-century painters. He was self-taught and began painting in the 1920s. Inspired by Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh and Velázquez, he created melancholy, aggressive works with tremendous presence and impact.

Basically, the works centre on humanity. Often man is depicted as a torso-like, deformed and surreal figure. It is only through distortion and deformation –  in  Bacon's view – that it becomes possible to approach an existential reality. The aim is to confront the viewer with reality, for him to be assaulted, besieged and even overpowered by it. Emotions should not be triggered by the motifs alone but provoked directly in the painting – in Bacon's bodies of colour.

The pictorial space also plays a decisive part here. It is frequently constructed in a contradictory fashion, sometimes enclosing those portrayed like a cage, sometimes appearing impenetrable and empty.

As a rule, Bacon refers to already existing images, in paintings, photographs and films, which he aims to bring closer to the reality of life through re-formation. Bacon himself spoke of a new realism, which he termed “recreation”.

For his ability to depict reality so directly and without mercy, Francis Bacon received the 3rd Rubens Prize from the City of Siegen exactly fifty years ago. “Every one of his paintings is dominated by a convincing, often bitter monumentality,” the jury stated in 1967.

In the meantime, the Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection encompasses representative works from all of Bacon's creative phases. They include a painting from Bacon's famous Pope series after the original by Diego Velázquez dating from 1957, as well as one of his brightly-coloured self-portraits from the late work (“Study from the Human Body and Portrait”, 1988). The landscape painting “Study for a Landscape After Van Gogh” from 1957 is part of a series based on a work by Vincent von Gogh.

On May 7 the Museum für Gegenwartskunst will be showing the newly-acquired painting by Bacon to the public in a special first presentation. At the same time, the 25th anniversary of the Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection will be celebrated with further new acquisitions from recent times, including works by Emil Schumacher, Fritz Winter, Lucian Freud and Bridget Riley.

Opening hours

Open on holidays

11 - 6
11 - 8



5.90 €
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Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
Unteres Schloss 1
57072 Siegen

+49 (0) 271 405 77 0
+49 (0) 271 405 77 32