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Contest: Connect with your inner critic and tweet your #BaconMoore reviews

July 7th, 2014

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UPDATE, July 21, 2014: This contest is now closed, and we will be contacting winners through their Twitter accounts. Thank you to all who participated!


Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty is closing July 20 and we hope you’ve had a chance to see the exhibition or, if not, that you plan to visit before it closes. We’ve heard from visitors who provided feedback, in words and images, at our in-exhibition response stations; now we’re inviting you to share your review of Terror and Beauty on Twitter before July 18, with the hashtag #BaconMoore and tagging us, @agotoronto. Everyone who submits a review of 140 characters or fewer (emoji allowed) will be entered into a draw to win one of five pairs of tickets to see Alex Colville, opening Aug. 23 and running to Jan. 4, 2015. AGO members, who see both exhibitions for free, will be able to transfer the prize to friends if they are selected as winners.

Have questions about the contest? Ask us in the comments.

“Inspiring, fearsome, transcendent”: Visitors respond to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty

May 12th, 2014

By Gillian McIntyre, Interpretive Planner, AGO

“If I go to the National Gallery and I look at one of the great paintings that excite me there, it’s not so much the painting that excites me as that the painting unlocks all kinds of valves of sensation in me which return me to life more violently”
—Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon and Henry Moore both used the human form to express violence and trauma in their art as well as the resilience of the human spirit. When we were planning Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty we knew visitors would probably have a strong reaction to the work, one way or another, and we wanted to gather and share these responses. Bacon particularly wanted people to feel something when they saw his art.

In the last room of the exhibition we set up iPads with digital pens and invited people to express their thoughts by drawing and writing, the results of which we are projecting on the wall of the room. The questions were intentionally quite general: “What is your response?” and “What role do the arts play in your life?”

The results have been staggering. So far we have received more than 3,500 responses, many of them, as predicted, very strong (see a selection below). It is obvious from them that people have understood what is hard to put into words. Quoting Bacon again: “If you can say it, why paint it?” Writing about art — essentially a visual communication — can be reductive, so it is interesting to see that visitors are able to read the art so well. One of the surprises is how closely people have looked at the Bacon paintings — his compositional space construct appears often in their drawings. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday with Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and friends

May 6th, 2014

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UPDATED May 23, 2014: Responding to visitor feedback, extended Friday night hours at the AGO on June 6 and July 11 will not go ahead as planned. Visitors continue to take advantage of the AGO’s Wednesday evenings, when the AGO is open till 8:30 p.m., and weekends hours. Tickets for Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty can be booked online now for both Wednesday evenings and weekend hours.


This Friday, May 9, after work, we’re extending Gallery hours until 8:30 p.m. The full Gallery plus special exhibitionFrancis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty will be open, and visitors are invited to relax in Galleria Italia and start the weekend off right with friends, food and tunes. We’re offering the same extended hours on two additional Fridays, June 6 and July 11. Read the rest of this entry »