Post-Minimalism can be a hard concept to pin down. That’s largely because the term refers not so much to a single, unified aesthetic as to a range of interrelated styles that arose during the late 1960s in the aftermath of Minimalism. Although the different strands of Post-Minimalism overlap with each other, they frequently have diverging, even contrary, approaches and perspectives. Within this broad church, for example, we find not only conceptual painting, sculpting, and photography but also performance art, process art, body art, and site-specific art.
It’s hard to pin down how a painting is conjured into existence. It starts with a microscopic dot of inspiration that begins swirling around in the back of the artist’s mind before coming to life in a psychedelic explosion of creativity. Whether the finished art piece is a colorful abstract display or a somber street scene in gray-scale, it has a story to tell. And in each story, a small aspect of the artist is revealed. Each stroke forms part of a complex and enormously personal adventure.
Born in Dublin on 28 October 1909, Francis Bacon had no one location he could truly call home when he was growing up. His father planned on breeding horses in Ireland, but came to London to join the War Office in 1914. After the war, the family moved around several locations in Ireland in constant fear of being targeted by the Irish independence movement. The asthma that Bacon suffered from made him unable to hunt and engage in the kinds of physical pursuits his father admired. Worse still, in his father’s eyes, was the fact that he was gay, a reality that Bacon discovered and disclosed in his youth. All in all, Francis Bacon experienced a lonely childhood and the sense of social alienation never left him. The loneliness may have been intolerable if it weren’t for his maternal grandmother, who lived in Abbeyleix, Ireland, and provided the young man with some parental warmth and acceptance.