Ivorypress Space presented the lecture: ‘Bacon, the very substance of the painting, by Manuela Mena’

22 / 01 / 2011

On 22 January 2011 Ivorypress Space presented the lecture: ‘Bacon, the very substance of the painting’, by Manuela Mena, in the framework of the exhibition Francis Bacon, Detritus. Surrounded by 76 facsimiles of the publication that Ivorypress devoted to the British artist, Mena reflected on the impact of his work and the particularities of his creative process.

Reflecting on the impact of Bacon’s work, Mena notes that ‘Francis Bacon is a key figure in 20th century painting, so his art meant the dramatic breaking of the establishment, both from a material standpoint, as his painting technique, and in the recurrent themes that were the main motives of his works. Bacon’s inspiration opened up the borders of the elements that made up his imagery. The use of photography, of high artistic quality, as well as of current events in newspapers and magazines, and even medical photography, was a key contribution, full of freedom, to his creative process’.

A Complutense University PhD specialising in 17th century Italian drawing and painting, Mena was a devoted teacher until 1981, when she entered the Prado Museum, starting as assistant director in the areas of conservation, research and restoration. Since 1996 she has been head of one of the conservation areas of the Museo del Prado, in which she is responsible for the 17th century painting and Goya collections. She has organised numerous exhibitions at the Prado Museum, including Goya. Prophet of Modernity, 2005-2006, Berlin / Vienna, Francis Bacon, 2009, and Las Meninas by Richard Hamilton, 2010.