Many people know painter Francis Bacon and sculptor Henry Moore were both influential artists in the 20th-century. Both produced works delivering captivating views of the human form, but they were never thought to have had any kind of correspondence. However a new exhibition sheds new light on their relationship and, of course, display their baller classic works.
Opening at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford this fall, "Francis Bacon Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone" will showcase 20 paintings by Bacon along with 20 sculptures and 20 drawings by Moore. However, the exhibit is accompanied by new information that has art historians giddy like school children. While researchers were putting together the show, they discovered that Bacon asked Moore for sculpting lessons.
Francis Warner, Emeritus fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford, was a friend of both in the early '70s and was asked by Bacon to relay the inquiry to Moore: "Francis had become interested in taking on some sculpture. He was thinking sculptural forms – 3D. I don't think it was a whimsy, but that he genuinely wanted to see if he could expand a bit, and obviously Moore was the big man. They knew each other, but it was a guarded affection. They were like two lions in a forest, utterly different people."
Although Moore didn't give the lessons and Bacon never made a sculpture, it still paints a different picture for many who study classic art. It's like learning that Kobe asked Lady Gaga for vocal lessons. Okay, that's not the greatest parallel but you get the point. The exhibition, which runs from September 12 to January 19, will further explain the similarities between the two influential artists.
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