Somewhat Abstract is the largest exhibition of works from the Arts Council ever assembled outside of London.
For me, this exhibit was a big deal, as it enabled me to finally see Francis Bacon’s Head VI in the flesh, so to speak.
I say “finally”, but I only became aware of this painting’s existence last summer, when the Arts Council displayed various pieces from their collection on billboards and posters on roadsides, bus stops and train stations across the country. Still, it’s the sort of image that, once seen, can never be unseen.
This was displayed on a small, out of the way poster along Liverpool’s dock road:
Terrifying. Brutal. Beautiful.
Fair to say, I’ve been somewhat haunted by that screaming pope ever since I first saw it. How fortuitous that, within the year, it should be exhibited for free at a gallery conveniently located on my walk from work to the train station!
Though Francis Bacon’s painting dominates proceedings (for me, at least), there is so much more to see at Somewhat Abstract.