Shortly after Francis Bacon died, one photographer was granted access to work undisturbed for days on end to produce this riveting record of the Kensington mews house in which Francis Bacon lived and worked for much of his life. In the studio itself, thirty years of inspired artistic endeavour had accumulated in tangible form - the last unfinished painting on the easel; the slashed, discarded canvases on the floor; brushes and paints; photographs of friends and models; pages torn from magazines and books that served visual stimulus for his work; doors and walls that seem to have been inpromptu palettes. Published now for the first time, together with photographs of Bacon's living quarters, kitchen and bedroom, his bookshelves stacked high with Aeschylus, T.S. Eliot and other volumes, trousers draped over a chair, a fractured mirror broken in who knows what incident, this is an astonishing document. Straightforwardly presented, it gives us the sense of having been invited in by Bacon as if he has briefly gone out to buy his newspapers.
Some of those close to Bacon during his lifetime believe that his studio and its contents was an heroic statement, in the mould of Duchamp's great work Elant Donnes, secretly constructed over many years to distil and give final form to his intentions as an artist.