Francis Bacon

AGO to host huge Francis Bacon & Henry Moore exhibit

The AGO announced a massive Francis Bacon and Henry Moore exhibition for spring 2014 today. The show, titled Francis Bacon and Henry Moore, will feature over 60 works by painter Bacon and sculptor Henry Moore — two British artists who never got to be pals but were both major players in the postwar art scene, exploring bleak existentialism and the distortion of reality and human form. While Moore's less brutalizing works will balance some of Bacon's dread, it will be pretty dark for a spring show.

Curmudgeonly weirdo, sadomasochist, and just gother-than-goth, Francis Bacon is best known for painting screaming popes, abstract and grotesque human portraits, and skinned animal carcasses. Warning: prepare for nightmares (you might want to take some Gravol before bed the night after this one). Bacon's influence was rooted in the ravages of the Second World War which also haunted Henry Moore, whose abstract sculptures play with reality by distorting or suddenly revealing a known form.

While the pairing makes sense both due to the themes addressed by the two artists and their shared era and nationhood, it's difficult not to be more excited by the arrival of Bacon's works. Toronto is well-stocked with Moore's sculptures (the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre has been at the AGO since 1974,) but every institution will have its crushes. The gallery will reveal never-before-seen Moore artworks from both their own collection and elsewhere.

Francis Bacon and Henry Moore will run at the AGO from April 5 to July 6, 2014.

Photo via thisrecording


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