Bacon's works on despair fetch six figures
Bacon's record is pounds 3.53m, but that was set in 1989. That such high prices can be fetched today in recessionary times said more about Bacon's standing in art history than the art market. He remains one of the few British painters with an international following among collectors. Each of the works sold yesterday reflects the artist's obsession with the human cry, the despair, the pain and the bleakness of human existence.
One of Sotheby's two examples, Study for a Portrait, dating from the early 1950s, sold for pounds 562,500 (against an estimated pounds 300,000 to pounds 400,000) to a European private collector. In the same sale, the 1965 portrait of Lucian Freud, a fellow modern master, made pounds 221,500 (estimate, pounds 250,000 to pounds 300,000).
Christie's sold Bacon's 1962 painting, Figure Turning, a powerful image of a man in twisted, contorted position against a bleak, black background, for pounds 529,500, just over its low estimate.
In 1991, Bacon told the Independent that among the younger generation, 'there is no real talent around at the moment'. He did, however, mention Miguel Barcelo as an artist to watch. Moules et Gants Rouges by this Spanish artist, born in 1957, was sold at Christie's for pounds 36,700.
Although one leading dealer dismissed both sales as 'the weakest contemporary auctions I've seen for some time', buyers at Sotheby's clearly thought otherwise: only 28 out of 117 works failed to sell, achieving the highest total for a London contemporary art sale since June 1991. Christie's fared less well this time, with half the items remaining unsold.
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...