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 #32 — Summer 2017"US vs. THEM"

Issue # 32 — Summer 2017

Issue #32 – Summer 2017: “US vs. THEM”

How do you find truth in an age without facts? The answer: wake up and stick together. In this issue’s dossier “US vs. THEM,” creative director RICHARD TURLEY explores how the Global Right Wing’s blatant disregard for reality has given us all a license to become Nonsense Warriors. Turning away from “them” and towards “us,” CATHERINE OPIE, NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE, and STEFANO PILATI take us into their inner circles of friends, while COLLIER SCHORR turns BELLA HADID into Lisa Lyon. We revisit the work of MICHAEL SCHMIDT, and how his community workshops turned Berlin into a cauldron of contemporary photography. JACKIE NICKERSON shows us what Robert Longo looks like with a faster Internet connection, while CARSTEN HÖLLER takes us into his kitchen to explore the post-digital nature of food. We speak with VIRGIL ABLOH as he plots a fashion industry coup d’état and follow JASON DILL on a skate odyssey to hell and back to Fucking Awesome. And, last but not least, we make a pilgrimage to Santo Sospir, the villa on the Riviera where JEAN COCTEAU created his greatest Gesamtkunstwerk.

Also included with the issue, our “HEAT UP HADID” TRANSFER KIT which allows you to create your own t-shirt emblazoned with this issue’s BELLA HADID cover.

Learn more about the issue below:

Nothing makes sense. Nothing ever will again. The year 2016 marked a total rupture in the theater of politics. Even if the damaging effects of Donald Trump’s election somehow prove to be short-lived, his rise indicates a crisis wherein digital acceleration has led to political regression. In our dossier “US vs. THEM,” creative director RICHARD TURLEY creates a handbook for our new political paradigm. Its central hypothesis: Only within the chaos of this media overload will we discover what is real again.

“I am not sure if the sculptures were even subjects for her photographs …” For her first ever magazine editorial, “Heroines: Paris/Los Angeles,” artist CATHERINE OPIEteamed up with artistic director NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE to create a study on the power of classicism and ambiguity. The exploration begins on the beige stone of the Louvre’s sculpture garden and continues to Opie’s studio in Los Angeles, documenting a sprawling circle of friends and acquaintances.

On a surrealist journey into the past, Martin Mosebach visits the summer retreat of JEAN COCTEAU. At the Villa Santo Sospir, the artist spent a decade’s worth of summers smoking opium and creating his largest total artwork.

Back with a vengeance for her third 032c cover story, COLLIER SCHORR teams up with fashion director Mel Ottenberg for “Smith & Wesson Blues,” a shoot with BELLA HADID, inspired by the body builder and Robert Mapplethorpe muse Lisa Lyon.

“Duchamp is my lawyer.” From his fortress of irony, designer VIRGIL ABLOH is set on turning fashion into the industrial arm of the art world. In conversation with 032c’s managing editor Thom Bettridge, he explains how streetwear is not just a fad, but a logic inspired by Dada and destined to dominate the digital age.

Accompanied by a re-print of MICHAEL SCHMIDT’s 2002 story for 032c, Kolja Reichert explores how the photographer’s community workshops from 1976 to 1986 create a style born out of the “Gray Island” of Berlin.

For the story “Energy Crisis,” photographer LUKAS WASSMANN and designer STEFANO PILATI shoot an editorial inside Michael Sailstorfer’s exhibition “Hitzefrei” at St. Agnes. As his first for a magazine editorial, Pilati’s styling includes garments from his own personal wardrobe.

“It’s an exhausting reality,” laughs JASON DILL. In an odyssey documented with drawings and pictures from his personal archive, the skate legend takes us to hell and back to Fucking Awesome.

In “Push Me Shove You Oh Yeah Says Who,” photographer JACKIE NICKERSON, along with fashion editor Marc Goehring and 032c apparel creative director Maria Koch, presents a yogic meditation on a white collar dystopia.

“I’m very bad at killing, in general.” As an antidote to postmodern culinary mediocrity, artist CARSTEN HÖLLER takes us to his concrete perch on the seaside of Ghana and guides us through the 11 points of his “Brutalist Kitchen Manifesto.”

In the “SSENSE Files,” we bring you scenes of cross-platform madness, including interviews with RICARDO BOFILL, PLAYBOI CARTI, CHITOSE ABE, CHRIS KRAUS, HENRY STAMBLER, AMINA BLUE, and 69.

In our second-ever “BERLIN REVIEW” section, we speak with JEFF KOONS about Plato, retrace MARTIN MARGIELA’s reign at Hermès, dive to the underwater tombs of PHARAOHS, and explore our favorite books of the season.

All this and more on 296 pages!