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MAY 20TH: FRANCIS BACON IN SOHO - NIALL MCDEVITT LONDON POETRY WALKS

For A Francis Bacon Walk psychogeographer Niall McDevitt departs from his usual poetry subjects to follow the trail of London's most legendary 20th century visual artist. Though an upper-class Englishman, Francis Bacon was also a déclassé Irishman who revelled in the role of an inspired uneducated outsider. Born in 1909, he was self-taught and a late bloomer. After a modest career designing furniture, at 36 he became overnight the most identifiable postwar painter after the exhibition of his monumentally shocking Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion in 1945.

McDevitt homages Bacon as 'poet of the human body' and among the most literary of artists, hugely influenced by the writings of such poets as Blake, Rimbaud, Yeats, Eliot, and who in turn has had an influence on contemporary poetry, echoing critic Robert Hughes' verdict on Bacon as an  "implacable lyric artist". For enthusiasts of gambling, alcoholism, sadomasochism, and beauty. 

The walk will begin by exploring the sites of the Mayfair galleries where Bacon made his reputation. It will end searching for the disappeared Soho drinking clubs, restaurants, and gambling dens where he spent his evenings wining and dining his lucky and not-so-lucky associates. The walk will finish with a drink in one of Bacon's surviving haunts, The French House or The Golden Lion (depending on accessibility). There are no other Francis Bacon walks. 

Meeting by Green Park tube station in the park itself by the southern exit. 2pm. Tickets are £10. Please click here to purchase.

 

 Collage by Heathcote Ruthven

Collage by Heathcote Ruthven