Congress Special: Presentation of Sequence 1 – Francis Bacon & Marcel Duchamp, two ‘windowers’


Francis Bacon & Marcel Duchamp:
Two "Windowers"

Sequence 1

Francis Bacon or The Gaze Stripped Bare by Her Artists, Even

Saturday 11 May 10am – 11:20am

Sequence chaired by Marie-Hélène Brousse, with


Dr. Margarita Cappock 

Director of the Hugh Lane Gallery (Bacon's Studio)


Rik Loose : What cannot be seen

 Bruno De Halleux : The Stain, It's the Accident



Why Bacon? Well, because Bacon is Irish and his entire studio was moved from London to Dublin. Our guest, Margarita Cappock, was the one who masterminded this incredible adventure! She is currently the director of the Hugh Gallery, which hosts this studio.

I have taken the liberty of borrowing from Duchamp the second title he gave to his "The Large Glass" – "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even" – to introduce this sequence resolutely centred on Francis Bacon and the gaze, which will open our 2024 Congress in Dublin.

Our Executive Committee colleague Philip Dravers has provided us with a reference from the website of the Tate Gallery in London, which fits like a glove to give the right perspective to this sequence, which will be led by Marie-Hélène Brussels and in which our colleagues Rik Loose, from Dublin, and Bruno de Halleux, from Brussels, will also be taking part.

Perhaps my character would have been reminded that Duchamp later intended to make a whole series of works based upon windows, although only two small pieces were completed, including the punningly titled Fresh Widow1920? He would have known that the French for widow is veuve, a colloquialism for the guillotine; he may have known, or could have easily discovered, that fenêtre à guillotine is the French term for sash window. As the two elements of the window are demountable, like the two sheets in Duchamp’s original note, might he have speculated that The Large Glass be reconsidered as a sash window? If this were the case, then perhaps the Bride and her Bachelors may be reconciled after all, the one sliding, gliding, on top of the other.

Speaking to Schwarz sometime later, the artist remarked: “Instead of being a painter, I would have liked, on this occasion, to be thought of as a fenêtrier.” 

Jeremy Millar “Looking through The Large Glass” 1 May 2006 (

But, unlike J. Millar, we will not wager that Bacon and the gaze emerge "reconciled" from the confrontation to which the artist bears witness: the sash window of his paintings leaves him "widowed and disconsolate" (cf. Nerval, El Desdichado).

Daniel Roy

President of the NLS


New Lacanian School

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