What unites Francis Bacon (1909-1992) and Henry Moore (1898-1986)?
Despite a vastly different approach and set of circumstances, both British artists had a love of human form.
This Autumn the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford hosts 20 paintings by Bacon alongside 20 sculptures and 20 drawings by Moore, in an exploration of the artists' treatment of the human form and responses to the violence of the twentieth century.
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The unique exhibition shows surprising parallels in the work of the twentieth-century greats. Both artists had distinctive visual languages based on increasing simplicity of form with an evident Surrealist influence. Bacon and Moore also lived through the violence of the 20th century, civil unrest in Ireland and the WWI trenches respectively. During the Second World War and the Blitz, Bacon was an ARP Warden, and Moore an official war artist.
"Thought-provoking and sharp...Brilliant"
The Ashmolean have taken great care to guide you through this comparative experience, with sculptures from their famous holdings such as works by Michelangelo and Rodin preluding the exhibition to recognise that Bacon and Moore were united in their love of sculpture, especially that of classical antiquity.
The exhibition was curated by Martin Harrison, editor of the Francis Bacon catalogue raisonné, and Richard Calvocoressi, Director of The Henry Moore Foundation. Calvocoressi asserts that this exhibition "places the work of these great artists in close relation once again". It has been 50 years since the last joint Bacon Moore exhibition at Marlborough Fine Art.
Christopher Brown, Director of the Ashmolean is confident that "this is one of the most ambitious and exciting exhibitions we have mounted since we reopened in 2009".
It promises to be a very special collection of work all in one place and a thought-provoking exhibition.
Special Ticket Offer for Cass Art customers
Cass Art have partnered with the Ashmolean museum to bring you a special ticket offer. Download and print a voucher before Sunday 1 December to receive £2 off the adult ticket price. Let us know what you think of the exhibition on Twitter @CASSART #FleshandBone
'Francis Bacon Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone' is open until 19 January 2014, and free to under-18s. For opening hours and travel information, visit the Ashmolean's website.
With thanks to The Estate of Francis Bacon and The Henry Moore Foundation.
Images featured: Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych, Tate; Reclining Figure by Henry Moore, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; Francis Bacon, Portrait of Man with Glasses, The Estate of Francis Bacon; Animal Head by Henry Moore, The Henry Moore Foundation; Francis Bacon, Lying Figure, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao.
All copyright for Francis Bacon © The Estate of Francis Bacon
All copyright for Henry Moore © The Henry Moore Foundation