Francis Bacon: Late Paintings
In The New York Review, Colm Tóibín writes, “In Still Life: Broken Statue and Shadow (1984), for example, it is interesting to see Bacon confronting the same problem faced by Beckett when dealing with the human presence, the human figure. In some of his late work, Beckett could not see the figure as single or self-contained, or simply moving toward death; instead he saw it as being able to extend beyond its own boundaries, finding what Joseph Conrad called a “secret sharer,” even if the secret sharer was just the next sentence.
Bacon in this painting makes the shadow figure more ghostly, stronger in outline than in positive space or texture. It is not a shadow of the statue itself, having a different shape, which suggests that it has its own leftover presence. It is, oddly, substance as well as shadow.”
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