Variations on the Right to Remain Silent is an essay by poet and classicist Anne Carson about translation, cliché, divine language and the way some words violently resist being explained. She touches on Homer, Sappho, Joan of Arc, Friedrich Hölderlin, and the painter Francis Bacon.
NYTimes: At $142.4 Million, Triptych Is the Most Expensive Artwork Ever Sold at an Auction
It took seven superrich bidders to propel a 1969 Francis Bacon triptych to $142.4 million at Christie’s on Tuesday night, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction. William Acquavella, the New York dealer, is thought to have bought the painting on behalf of an unidentified client, from one of Christie’s skyboxes overlooking the auction.[more inside]
Those who knew the artist—some of them his friends—described him variously as “devil,” “whore,” “one of the world’s leading alcoholics,” “bilious ogre,” “sacred monster,” and “a drunken, faded sodomite swaying nocturnally through the lowest dives and gambling dens of Soho.” Was Francis Bacon really the greatest painter of the twentieth century, or just a fascinating mess?
What [Francis] Bacon produced are not paintings, at least not satisfying ones. They are little more than rectangles of canvas inscribed with noirish graffiti: angst for dummies. Bacon turned his clever little quotations from the masters, old or modern, into the twentieth century's most august visual claptrap. [more inside]
Is the high end Art market finally tanking? A week or so ago, it sure looked like it. An important van Gogh piece did not sell, Sotheby's stock price went into shock. However, all is well this week as both Christie's and Sotheby's kicked it into high gear and set some new records. [more inside]
The Greatest Interviews of the 20th Century according to The Guardian. The interviews are with Princess Diana, John Lennon, Marlon Brando, Dennis Potter, Francis Bacon, Marilyn Monroe, Sex Pistols, Malcolm X, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Margaret Thatcher and Fidel Castro. You know who else is interviewed? That's right, Nixon. Oh, and there's a Hitler interview, too. Apparently he likes tea. So do I. Funny ol' world. [via Neil Gaiman]