15/12/2010 – 05/02/2011

On 15 December, Elena Ochoa Foster presented the artist book Detritus and gave details of how it was produced over the more than three years it took to complete the project. Each volume is presented in the form of a facsimile of an old leather suitcase from the studio of Francis Bacon at his home in Reece Mews. Each copy includes seventy-six facsimiles of elements found at the artist’s studio and currently kept at Ireland’s Dublin City Gallery. These include photographs, pages from magazines, drawings, tools, letters and notes by Francis Bacon. Each element has been created individually by hand using special techniques to turn each one into a new original. Detritus was published in association with The Estate of Francis Bacon and the Dublin City Gallery (The Hugh Lane Gallery), Ireland in 2006. The book concept is by Brian Clarke and Elena Ochoa Foster. The publication was directed by Elena Ochoa Foster. It is numbered and includes a Certificate of Authenticity signed by The Chairman of the Estate of Francis Bacon.

Facsimile of the leather bag found in Bacon´s studio and of the artist

Bacon was the painter of 20th-century man in all his fragility and violence. He focused on the futility of life, looking back to the classical authors whom he so admired (the painters Picasso, Velazquez, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, the writers Aeschylus´ The Oresteia, T.S.Eliot, Shakespeare, the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca among others) and opening new expressive directions to contemporary painters.

Remember Bacon´s feelings about meat -about the carcasses of animals, and also about human flesh- were ambivalent: they served as a solemn reminder of his own mortality. Speaking after completing one of his paintings in 1965 he simply stated: “Well, of course, we are meat, we are potential carcasses”.

Francis Bacon with pork sides

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