In Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty, the Art Gallery of Ontario brings two giants of 20th-century British art together in a major exhibition of sculpture and paintings, featuring over 60 works by the two highly influential artists as well as a number of photographs and drawings dating from the Second World War.
Although they were neither friends nor collaborators, painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992) and sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) were contemporaries who shared an obsession with expressing themes of suffering, struggle and survival in relation to the human body. Both artists were focused, in different ways, on representing the body in various states of contortion, which reflected their experiences of conflict and violence. Drawing on the artists' own personal experiences and references, including the London Blitz, the exhibition examines how confinement and angst fostered their extraordinary creativity and unique visions.
Guest curated for the AGO by Dan Adler, associate professor of art history at York University, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty is the first Canadian exhibition of Bacon's work. The presentation also includes never-before-seen Moore artworks, from both the AGO collection and elsewhere. Loans for the exhibition have been secured from several institutions including MoMA, Tate Britain and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
The exhibition was originally curated by Richard Calvocoressi CBE, Director of the Henry Moore Foundation and Martin Harrison, editor of the catalogue raisonné on Francis Bacon.
Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario in collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.