A Terrible Beauty

  • Category

    Curatorial Projects

  • Year


  • Type

    Solo Exhibition

  • Artist

    Francis Bacon

  • Location

    Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

  • Role

    Assistant Curator

Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty celebrates the centenary of Francis Bacon’s birth in 63, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin. This exhibition comprising paintings, drawings, photographs, unfinished works and slashed canvases offers the viewer an astonishing new look at Francis Bacon, the great figurative painter of the 20th century. It provides an opportunity to reappraise his oeuvre through the selected paintings, several of which have not been on public exhibition for many years. The mastery of Francis Bacon is revealed through these works, supported by an extensive and previously unseen selection of items from Bacon’s Studio.

Following on the donation of the Studio to the Hugh Lane by John Edwards in 1998, the 7,000 plus items retrieved from the studio were archived by The Hugh Lane. Francis Bacon’s Studio has been on permanent exhibition at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane since 2001. It is acknowledged as one of the most pioneering and successful realisations of preserving and displaying an artist’s studio and contents. The database is unprecedented, documenting every item retrieved, thus providing fascinating insights into Bacon’s working processes.

The exhibition is co-curated by Barbara Dawson and Martin Harrison. It is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue that presents important new research on the artist. This is available from the gallery bookshop.

Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty is one of the major European cultural events of 2009. The exhibition tours to Compton Verney, Warwickshire, England, from 27 March to 20 June 2010.