Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis


A new understanding of Francis Bacon’s art and motivations.


ISBN: 9780500970980 Category:

Ben Ware, The Estate of Francis Bacon


The second in a series of books that seeks to illuminate Francis Bacon’s art and motivations, and to open up fresh and stimulating ways of understanding his paintings.

Francis Bacon is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His works continue to puzzle and unnerve viewers, raising complex questions about their meaning. Over recent decades, two theoretical approaches to Bacon’s work have come to hold sway: firstly, that Bacon is an existentialist painter, depicting an absurd and godless world; and secondly, that he is an anti-representational painter, whose primary aim is to bring his work directly onto the spectator’s ‘nervous system’.

Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis brings together some of today’s leading philosophers and psychoanalytic critics to go beyond established readings of Bacon and to open up radically new ways of thinking about his art. The essays bring Bacon into dialogue with figures such as Aristotle, Hegel, Freud, Lacan, Adorno and Heidegger, as well as situating his work in the broader contexts of modernism and modernity. The result is a timely and thought-provoking collection that will be essential reading for anyone interested in Bacon, modern art and contemporary aesthetics.

Additional information

Weight 694 g
Dimensions 26.3 x 20.4 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 5 December 2019
Number of pages 176
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 26.3 x 20.4 cm
Weight 694 g


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Ben Ware is a research fellow in Philosophy at King's College, London. He is the author of Dialectic of the Ladder: Wittgenstein, the 'Tractatus' and Modernism and Living Wrong Life Rightly: Modernism, Ethics and the Political Imagination. Howard Caygill is Professor of Modern European Philosophy in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University. Gregg Horowitz is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Darian Leader is a psychoanalyst and a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research and of The College of Psychoanalysts-UK. Catherine Malabou is Professor of Philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University. Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at Brunel University London, and former Chair of the Freud Museum. Alenka Zupancic is a research advisor at the Institute of Philosophy, Scientific Research Center of the Slovene Academy of Sciences. Renata Salecl is Professor of Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Law at Birkbeck College, University of London.