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Tickets for Francis Bacon & Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty at the AGO go on sale March 21

TORONTO — The tortured British painter Francis Bacon, whose triptych recently set a new record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, makes his Canadian debut this spring at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) alongside rarely-seen works by the British sculptor Henry Moore in the exhibition Francis Bacon & Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty. Featuring more than 130 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and archival materials, the exhibition explores the two artists’ shared fascination with the human form in relation to the violence of the Second World War and other key events of the 20th century. Organized in collaboration with the U.K.’s renowned Ashmolean Museum, the exhibition runs from April 5 to July 20, 2014. Timed-entry tickets go on sale March 21, 2014.

Regular-priced tickets range from $16.50 for students to $25 for adults. Admission is FREE for AGO members and for children ages five and under. Tickets can be booked online by visiting www.ago.net/francis-bacon-and-henry-moore.

Although they were neither friends nor collaborators, Bacon (b. 1909) and Moore (b. 1898) were contemporaries who shared an obsession with expressing themes of violence, trauma and conflict, both social and personal. Drawing on the artists’ personal experiences during the London Blitz and other conflicts, the exhibition examines how confinement and angst fostered their extraordinary creativity and unique visions. Bacon, whose dark depictions of human torment have inspired several characters in popular culture, including the appearance of Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight, was a sado-masochist who sought to process the trials of humanity through his canvases. Moore, a British war artist, was one of the most renowned sculptors of his time. His works evoke endurance and stability, but when considered in light of his wartime experience, they read as an effort to rebuild and redeem the fragile human psyche and body.

The exhibition, which is guest-curated at the AGO by York University’s Dan Adler, features numerous loans from The Henry Moore Foundation, Tate Britain, The Estate of Francis Bacon and MOMA, and is thematic in nature, pairing figural and abstract works to explore ideas of confinement, conflict and restoration.

Highlights include:

  • Bacon’s large Second Version of Triptych 1944, from the Tate Britain;
  • Bacon’s Lying Figure in a Mirror, from the Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao;
  • Moore’s iconic bronze sculpture Falling Warrior, on loan from Tate Britain;
  • Moore’s lithograph Pandora and the Imprisoned Statues, from the AGO collection but never before displayed;
  • more than 30 archival photographs by the acclaimed German-born British photographer Bill Brandt, including portraits of Moore and Bacon.

A detailed audio guide accompanies the exhibition and features commentary by experts including guest curator Dan Adler, University of Toronto professor Mark Kingwell, psychiatrist Allan Peterkin and the artists Margaret Priest and Simon Starling.

The AGO is hosting several events, talks and films to explore the lives of Francis Bacon and Henry Moore. Programming highlights may be found at www.ago.net/francis-bacon-and-henry-moore.

FRANK restaurant at the AGO welcomes Francis Bacon and Henry Moore with a series of prix-fixe menus inspired by the British Isles. Featuring Guinness-braised mussels, mini Yorkshire pudding lamb sliders and sticky toffee pudding, these three-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus are available for $35 and $45. Until July 3, 2014, a prix-fixe dinner and exhibition package is available for $65.

AGO members also have first access to the exhibition with advance previews beginning on April 2, 2014. For more information on AGO memberships, visit www.ago.net/general-membership.

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This 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, this exhibition was made possible through the generosity of The Henry Moore Foundation and The Estate of Francis Bacon.

Supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program / Avec l’appui du ministère du Patrimoine canadien par le biais du Programme d’indemnisation pour les expositions itinérantes au Canada.”

Lead Supporters: The Steven & Michael Latner Families | METROPIA

Generously supported by: Al & Malka Green | Tim & Frances Price

ABOUT THE AGO
With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit ago.net to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

The AGO receives additional operating support from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

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Chris Lackner; Account Director, Holmes PR
416-628-5613, clackner@holmespr.com

Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403, andrea-jo_wilson@ago.net

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