Bacon and beasts: an in-depth look at the visceral new show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts

Plus, Botticelli in New York and gender in Asian art in San Francisco

Francis Bacon's Second Version of Triptych 1944 (1988). Tate: Presented by the artist 1991 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd
Francis Bacon’s Second Version of Triptych 1944 (1988).Tate: Presented by the artist 1991 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

The Week in Art

From breaking news and insider insights to exhibitions and events around the world, the team at The Art Newspaper picks apart the art world’s big stories with the help of special guests. An award-winning podcast hosted by Ben Luke, The Week in Art is sponsored by Christie’s.

This week, we visit the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London, where a new show looking at Francis Bacon’s use of animal imagery, Man and Beast, is about to open. The RA’s director, Axel Rüger sheds light on Bacon’s means of transposing the animal into the human figure.

Sandro Botticelli, The Man of Sorrows (around 1500)Courtesy Sotheby’s

We talk to our editor-at-large, Georgina Adam, about The Man of Sorrows, the Botticelli painting sold at auction this week—and we find out if it went beyond its guaranteed sale price of $40m. We also talk about the big art market news of the week: that MCH Group, the owner of the Art Basel fairs, is to take over Fiac’s slot at the Grand Palais in Paris to host a new contemporary art fair in October.

Wilson Shieh’s Musical Bodies: Banjo (1999, left) and Ida Bagus Putu Taman’s sandalwood sculpture Satyavati and Shalya (Satyawati and Salya) (1936–40, right).Courtesy of the Asian Art Museum San Francisco

And in this episode’s Work of the Week, our deputy digital editor Aimee Dawson talks to Megan Merritt of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, about a pair of works in Seeing Gender, a new exhibition that explores the museum’s collection through the lens of gender for the first time: a contemporary piece on paper by the Chinese artist Wilson Shieh and a 20th-century carved sculpture by the Indonesian artist Ida Bagus Putu Taman.

The Week in Art podcast byThe Art Newspaper is available every Friday on our website and all the usual places where you find podcasts. This podcast is sponsored by Christie’s.


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