Moore attended Yale College, and spent a year in Paris at the Cite des Arts. He moved to the SoHo area of Manhattan in 1977. In addition to creating paintings and drawings, he designed sets and costumes and collaborated with several major choreographers and ballet companies. He formed a long-term partnership with choreographer and dancer Jim Self with whom he created the film Beehive in 1985, which was expanded into a ballet commissioned by the Boston Ballet in 1987.
In 1985, Moore and his partner, Robert Fulps (Nov. 22, 1953, Dallas, Texas - Feb. 3, 1987, Dallas, Texas), purchased a farmhouse in Deposit, New York. Renovating the house and establishing a flourishing garden deepened his connection to nature. He converted the barn on the property into a painting studio so that he could spend most of each summer, and much of the fall, in the country.
In 1985, Moore learned he was HIV positive. After his diagnosis, his work increasingly grappled with issues around AIDS, environmental degradation, bioethics, homosexuality, and health care. He became a noted AIDS activist. As a founding member of Visual AIDS, he was instrumental in creating and launching the Red Ribbon Project, which became a worldwide symbol of AIDS awareness.
Moore's first solo show was at the Clocktower in Tribeca in 1983. He had numerous one-person exhibitions most notably at Sperone Westwater Gallery, which continues to represent his estate. His work has been exhibited widely in the US and internationally, including in the 1995 Whitney Biennial, at Artists Space in New York City, the Parish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, and in museums in London and Japan. Moore received the Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1999. A mid-career retrospective of his work opened at the Orlando Museum of Art in 2002, shortly after his death, and subsequently traveled to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo.
Viral Romance, 1992, Oil and silkscreen on canvas mounted on wood, 35 x 24 1/2 in., Collection of Marc Happel and Harvey Weiss, New York, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
AIDS Quilt (for Robert Fulps)
Arena, 1992, Oil and silkscreen on canvas mounted on wood, in antique gilded frame, 61 x 72 in., Collection of Gian Enzo Sperone, Sent, Switzerland, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Freedom to Share, 1994, Oil, glass beads, and silkscreen on canvas mounted on wood, 60 x 46 in., Collection of Thomas H. Lee and Ann Tenenbaum, New York, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Lullaby, 1996, Oil and silkscreen on canvas mounted on wood, in artist's frame (red pine), 50 x 65 in., Private collection, Milan, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Niagara, 1994–95, Oil and silkscreen on canvas mounted on wood, in artist's frame (metal faucet knobs on copper pipe), 60 x 96 3/8 x 2 1/2 in., Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. General Purchase Funds, 1995, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Patient, 1997–98, Oil and silkscreen on canvas mounted on wood, in artist's frame (red pine), 49 1/2 x 65 1/2 x 3 1/2 in., Private collectionl, Milan., Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Pearline, 1991, Oil on canvas, in antique gilded frame, 51 x 43 in., Private Collection, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Spring, 1996, Oil and silkscreen on canvas mounted on wood, 61 x 72 in., Private collection, Milan, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Everything I Own, 1992, Oil on canvas mounted on wood, 25 1/4 x 36 1/2 in., Collection of David Leiber and Janina Quint, New York, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Gulliver Awake, 1994–95, Oil on canvas mounted on wood, 34 1/4 x 68 1/8 x 1 1/2 in., Collection of Loring McAlpin, New York, Image: Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York
Moore's work is represented in the collections of those museums, as well as in the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New York Public Library. A monograph on his work, Between Life & Death, was published by Twin Palms Publishers in 2002. His papers are in the collection of the Fales Library of New York University. A showing of the film Beehive was a highlight of the recent East Village Show at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
As Roberta Smith wrote in her obituary in the New York Times: Mr. Moore saw both sides of most issues, knowing that the advances of genetic engineering were keeping him alive yet deploring their effects on agriculture and human health. Linking his interest in AIDS and the environment, he once told an interviewer, "You cannot have healthy people in an unhealthy environment, and you can't have a healthy environment where unhealthy—greedy, exploitative—people predominate" (Roberta Smith, Frank Moore, "Painter with Activism on his Palette," The New York Times, April 26, 2002)
Late in 2012, the double exhibition Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore (September 7 – December 8, 2012) is the most comprehensive retrospective of work by a remarkable artist whose life was tragically cut short by AIDS. Frank Moore (1953-2002) is best known for his hyperrealist, large-scale paintings surrounded by inventive custom-made frames. Addressing themes drawn from American visual culture, the state of the health care industry, and his own life, Moore was prescient in his concern about the dangers of genetically modified foods. His paintings often explore human effects on the natural environment, all too apparent, as he noted, in many "sites of great, but toxic, beauty." Featuring approximately 50 paintings and drawings, the exhibition spans Moore's entire career and includes videos, maquettes, sketchbooks, and related archival materials. Toxic Beauty will be on view simultaneously at the Grey Art Gallery and at the Tracey-Barry Gallery at Fales Library, which houses New York University's special collections and Frank Moore's papers. Curated by Susan Harris with Lynn Gumpert, Toxic Beauty is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Grey Art Gallery, New York University (September 30, 2012)
Amazon: Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore
Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore is the most comprehensive presentation of work by a remarkable artist whose life was cut short by AIDS. Frank Moore (1953-2002) is best known for his large, highly detailed figurative paintings filled with fantastic and symbolic images. This catalogue includes a complete bibliography, chronology and excerpts from Moore's own writings. It also features more than 50 color images of Moore's paintings and works on paper, as well as approximately 40 reproductions of previously unpublished archival material--such as sketchbooks and documents--culled from the vast Frank Moore Papers housed at New York University's Fales Library. An essay by Klaus Kertess considers Moore's recurrent themes, situating the artist within the vibrant downtown scene; a contribution by Gregg Bordowitz relates Moore's works to his passionate AIDS activism; and a piece by Susan Harris addresses the artist's working methods.
More Artists at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art
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