Mayfair

Love is the Devil: Studies after Francis Bacon

February 04 - March 05, 2022

Marlborough London presents Love is the Devil: Studies after Francis Bacon. In light of a major exhibition dedicated to Britain’s greatest figurative painter at the Royal Academy of Arts, the show will present a selection of works by contemporary artists whose practices resonate with Bacon’s idiosyncratic approach to the depiction of the human form. The works are united by an underlying compulsion to pull apart idealised notions in favour of a more complex, layered and highly personal experience, while channelling the performative elements of character and a sensuality that Bacon would have recognised.

As David Sylvester noted in 1998 in his essay The Human Body: ’The two sexes met in Francis Bacon, more than in any other human being I have encountered. At  moments he was one of the most feminine of men, at others one of the most masculine. He would switch between these roles as suddenly and unpredictably as the switching of a light. That duality did more than anything perhaps to make his presence so famously seductive and compelling and to make him so peculiarly wise and realistic in his observation of life.’

Exploring traditional tropes of masculinity in a landscape of constantly fluctuating gender politics, the show raises questions around pain, sexuality, adulthood, manhood and identity which are still as urgent today as they were in Bacon’s time.

Simeon Barclay, Lydia Blakeley, Shannon Bono, William Brickel, Lindsey Bull, Kyle Dunn, Louis Fratino, Louise Giovanelli, Rafik Greiss, Alexander James, Laura Lancaster, Josh Raz, Sophie Ruigrok, Alfie Rouy, Adrian Schachter, Luke Silva, Morgan Wills and Nana Wolke