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Frank Moore (1953-2002)
signed and dated 'F. Moore 1997' (upper center); signed again, titled and dated again '"PATIENT" 1998 Frank Moore' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas laid down on panel in artist's red pine frame
49 ½ x 65 ¼ x 2 ½ in. (125.7 x 165.7 x 6.4 cm.)
Executed in 1997-1998.
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, Frank Moore, March–April 1998, n.p. (illustrated).
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Herter Art Gallery, After Nature, December 1998–January 1999.
New York, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, May–June 1999.
New York, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Exhibition of Work by Newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honors and Awards, May–June 2000.
New York University, Grey Art Gallery, Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore, September-December 2012, pp. 140-141, no. 34 (illustrated).
Bronx Museum of the Arts, Art AIDS America, July–October 2016.

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Rachael White
Rachael White

Lot Essay

Like a window into a dream, Frank Moore’s Patient depicts a poetic and otherworldly alternate universe, replete with both fanciful and weighty imagery. A half-submerged hospital bed fills the canvas, bathed in a blue glow, its pillows soaring out of the water like volcanic islands. Next to the bed, a blood bag IV tube snakes into the water.  The liquid cascades down in a waterfall at the edge of the bed, perhaps a sly nod to Frederic Edwin Church’s Niagara Falls that Moore admired. Patient is representative of Moore’s desire for the viewer to look and look again, to find new visual discoveries and themes that accompany his artistic choices. In Patient, time has been compressed, and all four seasons are represented. Delicate snowflakes drift across the scene along with red and yellow falling leaves and chirping songbirds that usher in the warm glow of spring. Another autobiographical detail is that Frank Moore’s own name and blood type are written upside down onto the blood bag.  Much of Moore’s work, including Patient, references the insufficiency of the health care industry and his personal battle with AIDS, which took his life in 2002 at the age of 48. Moore was an integral member of the group Visual AIDS, and played a crucial role in creating the looped red ribbon as a symbol of the movement. Patient thus is like a journal of Moore’s battle with the disease.  Almost allegorical in tone, Moore’s work has the unique ability to fuse representational painting, thorny political topics and a deeply personal narrative together on one canvas.

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