The Week in Art
Francis Bacon: Tate archive controversy; NY photographer Alice Austen; Michel Majerus in Basel
This week: why is Tate rejecting an archive of material relating to Francis Bacon, 18 years after acquiring it? Our London correspondent Martin Bailey tells us about his recent scoop that Tate is returning a thousand documents and sketches said to have come from the studio of Francis Bacon to Barry Joule, a close friend of the artist, who donated them to Tate in 2004. We then discuss the material with Martin Harrison, the pre-eminent Bacon scholar and editor of the catalogue raisonné of Francis Bacon’s work published in 2016, and to Sophie Pretorius, the archivist at the Estate of Francis Bacon, who went through the Barry Joule archive item by item. Victoria Munro, the director of the Alice Austen House Museum in New York, discusses this still too-little-known photographer, and her documentation of immigration to the United States and the lives of queer women in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Weißes Bild (1994), a painting by the late Luxembourg-born artist Michel Majerus, now on view at Art Basel—Aimee Dawson, acting digital editor, is at the fair and talks to Giovanni Carmine, curator of the Unlimited section, in which the painting appears.
Sophie Pretorius’s essay Work on the Barry Joule Archive is in the book Francis Bacon: Shadows published by the Estate of Francis Bacon and Thames and Hudson.
For more on the Alice Austen House Museum, visit aliceausten.org. The podcast My Dear Alice is out in the autumn.
Art Basel, until 19 June.