LIVE from NYPL: On Francis Bacon: Annalyn Swan and Mark Stevens with Fintan O'Toole

Date and Time
April 15, 2021
Event Details
Accessibility Notes:
- A live transcript will be provided. Media is accompanied by alt text to reference before the program or by audio description.
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The Pulitzer Prize–winning authors discuss their biography of painter Francis Bacon, the first comprehensive survey of his life and work.

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Francis Bacon played an outsized role in both 20th–century art and life—from his public emergence with his legendary Triptych in 1944 and throughout the rest of his life. Whether hanging out in London, Paris, or Tangier, Bacon was a free spirit and openly gay at a time when many others remained closeted—his exploits were as unforgettable as his images. Through hundreds of interviews, and extensive research, Swan and Steven probe Bacon's life from his childhood in Ireland to his death in Madrid, and his career from his early days in design to his improbable late emergence onto the international stage as one of the great visionaries of the twentieth century.

Annalyn Swan and Mark Stevens discuss Francis Bacon: Revelations, a biography more than a decade in the making.

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The photo montage in the video is created by HENI Talks, London. 



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Annalyn Swan suggests:

Mark Stevens suggests:



Mark Stevens is the former art critic of New York Magazine. He has been the art critic for The New Republic and Newsweek and has also written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times.

Annalyn Swan is the former arts editor of Newsweek and an award–winning music critic. She teaches biography at the Graduate Center of CUNY as well as at the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English. Stevens and Swan won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for their biography, de Kooning: An American Master. They live in New York.

Fintan O'Toole is an Irish writer. He is a columnist with the Irish Times, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books  and Leonard L. Milberg visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton. He has won the Orwell Prize for Journalism and the European Press Prize. His most recent book is The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism. We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland will be published in 2022.



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LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the support of Library patrons and friends, as well as by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.

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