Apollo Magazine

Frieze Masters: Bacon at Marlborough Fine Art

'Study for Bullfight no. 1' steals the show at Stand C8. We spoke to Alexander Platon about the display

Frieze Masters 2014: Marlborough Fine Arts Photograph by Stephen Wells. Courtesy of Stephen Wells/Frieze

Marlborough Fine Art’s stand at Frieze Masters is given over to a solo exhibition of Francis Bacon’s prints and paintings, including the extraordinary Study for Bullfight no. 1 – a powerful vision of violence in a humming orange arena. We spoke to Alexander Platon about the display.

Tell us a bit about the history of your business

Marlborough is one of the oldest and most respected galleries specialising in modern and contemporary art.

How did the idea for your stand at Frieze Masters come about?

There is a long history between Francis Bacon and Marlborough Fine Arts. Marlborough represented the artist exclusively from March 1960 until his death in April 1992. We thought Frieze Masters was the perfect platform for a dedicated stand to this extraordinary artist.

Study for Bullfight No. 1 (1969), Francis Bacon © DACS/The Estate of Francis Bacon

What, for you, is the most interesting or significant piece in the display? And the most popular one?

Study for Bullfight no. 1 is my favourite painting on display. It was chosen as an image for the promotional poster for the artist’s seminal retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1971–72. I am confident it will attract a lot of attention: it is a masterpiece.

How has the market changed in your field since you started dealing?

The market is constantly changing and it feels like it is going from strength to strength. Established collectors are continuously expanding their collections and new buyers constantly appear from all parts of the world. It is just fascinating.

Do you collect yourself?

I am passionate about art. Some works I want to possess and others I just want to occasionally enjoy without necessarily owning them. I buy a few things that I love and can afford…

If you could take home one artwork from Frieze masters, which would it be?

I hope I will have time to thoroughly go around and look at everything. I am sure my list of works to take home will be long!

If you weren’t an art dealer, what would you be?

I wish I could be an artist and of course find a great dealer to represent me!

Marlborough Fine Arts is exhibiting at Frieze Masters (Stand C8) until 19 October.

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