Francis Bacon’s art is back in Japan for the first time as part of a solo show in thirty years.

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of his death, this latest exhibition will introduce audiences to Bacon’s “world” by presenting around 35 of his artworks.

Categorized alongside that of Picasso as one of the archetypal styles of the 20th century, Bacon’s work has been described as raw, bold, graphic and dark – it is distinctive, often depicting isolated, abstract figures and themes revolving around death. Screaming popes, half-human and half-grotesque portraits, and even his own crucifixion are recurring themes.

The format of this exhibition is entirely original. More than simply a retrospective, it will also take the form of a themed exhibition focusing on the “body” – which was extremely important to Bacon – and comprising three “chapters” that attempt to trace the changes in his expressive style: ‘Transient Body’, ‘Sacrificed Body’ and ‘Anti-Narrative Body’.

Bacon’s style continues to both influence artists and to unsettle audiences – this is definitely worth a go.

Francis Bacon 

When: March 8 – May 26

Where: The National Museum of Modern Art (see map)

How much: ¥1,500 (adults)/ ¥1,100 (uni students) / ¥700 (HS students)

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Main image: Francis Bacon, Three Studies of George Dyer, 1969