Tuesday, March 1, 2011

With the Eyes Set In the Knees

’- - / in the pictures called Studies of the Human Body (1970), in which he unmasks the body as a simple “accident”, an accident that could as easily have been fashioned some other way, for instance – I don’t know – with three hands, or with the eyes set in the knees. These are the only pictures of his that fill me with horror. But is “horror” the right word? No. For the sensation that these pictures arouse, there is no right word. What they arouse is not the horror we know, the one in response to the insanities of history, to torture, persecution, war, massacres, suffering. No. This is a different horror: it comes from the accidental nature, suddenly unveiled by the painter, of the human body.’

Milan Kundera from TATE ETC
, 2008 (excerpt)

Triptych - Studies from the Human Body, Francis Bacon, 1970

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