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Forms of Feeling
The human body in distress
Largely self-taught as an artist, Francis Bacon (1909–1992) developed a unique ability to transform interior and unconscious impulses into figurative forms and intensely claustrophobic compositions.
Emerging into notoriety in the period following World War II, Bacon took the human body as his nominal subject, but a subject ravaged, distorted, and dismembered so as to writhe with intense emotional content. With flailing limbs, hollow voids, and tumurous growths, his gripping, often grotesque, portraits are as much reflections on the trials and the traumas of the human condition as they are character studies. These haunting forms were also among the first in art history to depict overtly homosexual themes.
Luigi Ficacci studied art history in Rome under Giulio Carlo Argan. For many years, he was curator at the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica in Rome and lectured at various Italian universities. From 2007 to 2015, he was Bologna’s general museum director (Soprintendente ai Beni Culturali); today he is general museum director in Lucca. The focal points of his research work are the issues raised by 17th and 18th century and contemporary Italian and European art.