London – Francis Bacon’s Head with Raised Arm (1955, estimate: £7,000,000 – £10,000,000) will be unveiled for the first time in over half a century as part of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction, a highlight of London’s Frieze Week auctions. Last exhibited in 1962 at the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin, the work was acquired by the present owners the following year, and has remained hidden from public view ever since. The work’s location was listed as ‘unknown’ in the most recent version of the catalogue raisonné published last year by Martin Harrison. Riddled with quiet introspection and human tension, it belongs to a group of nine surviving paintings depicting the then-incumbent, Pope Pius XII. With four held in museum collections, and a further on permanent loan, Bacon’s portraits of the living Pope are among his most profound. The work will be on view from 8 September, Christie’s Rockefeller Center, New York; 18 September, Christie’s Hong Kong; and30 September 2017 at Christie’s King Street as part of the Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction that will take place on the 6 October 2017.
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