We are delighted to present a performance of a play written by the art historian Michael Peppiatt that recreates a conversation that took place between two of titans of Modern Art, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti.
Bacon/Giacometti: A Dialogue was staged at Dellasposa Gallery on Tuesday 15 December 2020 and broadcast live simultaneously on Instagram. The event marks the launch of the publication of the play by Michael Peppiatt, and the final month of the exhibition, Tales from the Colony Room: Art and Bohemia.
The play, a two hander, was performed by actors David Bamber (Bacon) and Stephen Boxer (Giacometti). Both actors have numerous film and stage credits. Bamber famously played Collins, the oleaginous clergymen in the BBC’s famed adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Boxer was seen recently portraying Margaret Thatcher’s husband, Dennis, in the award-winning Netflix series, The Crown.
As well as being a close friend of Bacon’s up until his death in 1992, Peppiatt has written many books on the artists. His biography, Francis Bacon (1909–1992), was chosen as a ‘Book of the Year’ by The New York Times and translated into several languages and is considered the definitive account of the artist’s life and work. He has also curated Man and Beast, the Royal Academy’s blockbuster Bacon show, which opens 30 January 2021.
Peppaitt’s recent memoir of Bacon, Francis Bacon in Your Blood, was hailed by The Spectator as the ‘best art memoir published in years’. He has also written widely on Giacometti, including In Giacometti’s Studio and Alberto Giacometti: An Intimate Portrait.
The play recreates an evening in the 1965 when Giacometti was in London to hang his retrospective at the Tate. The men had enjoyed a lavish dinner at Wheeler’s fish restaurant, then go on to the Colony Room — Bacon’s favourite club in Soho — to pursue their freely flowing conversation about life, art, and their mutual friends. After a while, the club begins to empty out, but the two artists, sensing that they may never have another occasion to talk, order more champagne. The dialogue between the artists had been ‘turning slowly’ in Peppiatt’s mind ever since Bacon told him in detail about his encounters with the Swiss artist, and is based on extensive research.
A limited edition of hardcovers books of Michael Peppiatt's play, Bacon/Giacometti: A Dialogue, published by Eris Press, will be signed by Michael Peppiatt and available for sale at Dellasposa Gallery and the publications section in our online store.
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