Every FRANCIS BACON, Ever.

“What directly influences Bacon is a violence that is involved only with color and line: the violence of a sensation (and not of a representation), a static or potential violence, a violence of reaction and expression. For example, a scream rent from us by a foreboding of invisible forces: “To paint the scream more than the horror.” In the long run, Bacon’s figures aren’t wracked bodies at all, but ordinary bodies in ordinary situations of constraint and discomfort.”
– Gilles Deleuze

Edited fastidiously over a period of ten years, the catalogue raisonné of Francis Bacon – assembled by art historian Martin Harrison and published by HENI – is a strange and triumphant labor of love. It includes every work in the British artist’s oeuvre, of which are more than 100 never-before-seen paintings. Its 1,538 pages are contained across five volumes, assembled together in a matte-black box set that looks like an ominous hard drive. Leafing through the endless and chronological book enacts a slow dance. Francis Bacon’s primary subjects were humans – bodies – often alone, often in colorful rooms that sometimes have windows or doors. They are torqued, deformed, feeling something page after page. They are crushed by something unseen.

What does WiFi look like when it hits the body? Francis Bacon never asked this question, but his oeuvre provides an answer for it. The philosopher Gilles Deleuze dedicated an entire book to his work, claiming that Bacon was a painter of sensations, one who made invisible forces visible on the human form. In this sense, the painter proposes a study on the grotesque, or rather how the grotesque can become effortless and natural. In this age of constant sensation, in which we dot our world with yoga ball desk chairs and other ergonomic solutions for a life committed to media, Bacon’s paintings predict a human body that is forgetting itself. His bodies often look as though they are on the verge of being cast off, heavy forms in multicolored interiors, propped up by certain social formalities. His men sometimes wear shirts, sometimes dress shoes, sometimes ties. Sometimes they read the newspaper. Sometimes they are naked puddles curled onto the floor. This is what wildlife looks like in the opposite of nature, “the great indoors.”

Slipcase w_ ShadowsSitting in an Aeron chair and flipping through HENI’s Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, we are forced to remember our bodies again. In this sense, the 15 kilogram box set serves as a type of anchor, a grounding force for our minds as they slip away into the Cloud. In an uncanny prediction of the present zeitgeist, Bacon once said to fellow painter Graham Sutherland, “Nothing matters or will happen until someone makes a new technical synthesis that can carry over from sensation to our nervous system.” These words feel ironic when said by a painter who spent a lifetime studying the tissue of the body. This monumental book dedicated to Bacon’s work presents a similar irony, especially in light of another one of the artist’s proclamations, “When I’m dead, put me in a plastic bag and throw me in the gutter.”

Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné is published by HENI (London, 2016).

Francis Bacon
HENI
Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné

Published in

Issue #31 — Winter 2016/2017HELMUT LANG

Issue # 31 — Winter 2016/2017

From 1986 to 2005, Helmut Lang systematically deconstructed every assumption about clothing and the way it is worn and communicated. As he himself once said, “I kept all the traditions and shades that were good — and then re-thought it all.” The Austrian designer’s lists of “firsts” is so long it could double as conceptual art. Lang was one of the first designers to collaborate with visual artists. The first to show clothing for men and women in a single presentation. The first to pioneer backstage photography as we know it today with Juergen Teller. The first to move a fashion house across the Atlantic … and the list goes on. In a 48-page dossier, 032c Issue 31 explores THE HELMUT LANG LEGACY and how his abrupt exit from the industry in 2005 has been felt like phantom limb in the world of fashion. The comprehensive study features essays by Ingeborg Harms and Ulf Poschardt, a roundtable with Tim Blanks, Olivier Saillard, and Neville Wakefield, an interview with Lang himself, as well as rare material from the Helmut Lang archive.

Is Calabasas the new Abu Dhabi? Are the Californian suburbs the perfect place for new energy experiments in modern apparel? In an editorial shot by MERT & MARCUS and conceptualized by KANYE WEST, 032c travels to the Los Angeles exurb of Calabasas to bathe in the dust of the Wests’ under-construction home designed by Axel Vervoordt. The shoot features cameos by KIM KARDASHIAN WEST, KHLOÉ KARDASHIAN, AMINA BLUE, TRAVIS SCOTT, and others.

“At the time we started collaborating, everything in the world of art and fashion was polished. Everything was smooth, so we felt that Prada must be rough.” For the past decade, a windowless concrete hall at the PRADA headquarters has become an architectural gymnasium for REM KOOLHAAS and his firm OMA/AMO. Traveling from Rotterdam to Milan, architecture critic Jack Self examines the phenomenon of the firm’s catwalks for the Italian mega-house, exploring how Prada and OMA/AMO have teamed up to create the foundation of a new corporate aesthetic.

“You fuck. Or you don’t fuck. You can’t fuck a little.” In a 2012 reportage, writer Alexander Gorkow and photographer Andreas Mühe followed RAMMSTEIN on their tour of America. Since then, our private obsession with this document has become a matter of political urgency. What was once the anti-capitalist spectacle of an East German rock band in 2012, now reads like a seismograph for the right-wing political landscape of 2016. Here, we witness ideology’s opposite: raw energy unhinged from the burden of truth.

As our contemporary economy grows to demand CREATIVITY from all of its citizens, it has become increasingly unclear exactly what “creativity” is. In a double-feature illustrated by the Japanese photographer Kenta Cobayashi, Joachim Bessing speaks with Wolfgang Ullrich and Lars Vollmer on how society’s idea of a creative ethos has transformed within the digital revolution.

“People say this is vandalism.” 032c’s Bianca Heuser and photographer Nadine Fraczkowski take us inside ANNE IMHOF’s Angst, a grand and opaque artwork that has drifted across the world like a low-pressure system. Furnished with smoke machines, sleeping bags, razors, and bongs, the three-act immersive opera is a training camp for the denizens of hyper-capitalism.

Founded as sneaker blogs in 2005, HYPEBEAST and HIGHSNOBIETY have grown into large and disruptive forces in fashion. Simultaneously fuelling and gorging on a new generation’s appetite for content, they have set a rabid pace that has multinational brands following suit. Travelling up the feed and towards “the heart of content,” 032c’s Thom Bettridge and photographer Lukas Wassmann visit the companies’ respective HQs in Hong Kong and Berlin to suss out what this revolution spells for the landscape of media at large.

In the “SSENSE Files,” we present scenes of cross-platform madness from our work at ssense.com. The section features seven interviews with a range of cultural producers from rappers LIL YACHTY and SCHOOLBOY Q to jewelry designer GAIA REPOSSI, stylist ANDREW RICHARDSON, author NATASHA STAGG, artist SIMON DENNY, and artist/musician FATIMA AL QADIRI.

In our fashion section, WILLY VANDERPERRE and OLIVIER RIZZO shoot Clara 3000 in the editorial “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY and 032c fashion director Mel Ottenberg team up for the ultimate study on Seinfeld-chic, while PIERRE DEBUSSCHERE and 032c fashion editor Marc Goehring vaporize Flemish baroque into a warped digital reality.

This issue, we also proudly introduce our “BERLIN REVIEW,” a section dedicated to our favorite printed matter of the season.

All this and more on 296 pages!