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María Vargas Aguilar: the new Artist in Residence at the Henry Moore Foundation

A photo showing a semi abstract painting. A realistic young child is depicted looking out from an abstracted canvas which gives the impression of collage

We are thrilled to announce María Vargas Aguilar as our new artist in residence, in partnership with Yale Center for British Art and Yale School of Art.

Aguilar, a painter influenced by Henry Moore and his Modernist contemporaries, will spend four weeks with the Foundation’s collections and staff, developing her artistic practice and offering new responses to the artist’s work. Aguilar comes to the Foundation in the second year of the Artist in Residence programme, run in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) and the Yale School of Art, promoting collaborative research between the institutions.

A photo portrait of a young woman with curly brown hair. She is sitting in a studio, with art displayed on the walls behind her
A photo showing a semi abstracted painting in green and yellow tones. In the far right of the image a figure is visible in the artwork.

Aguilar’s work’s considers the long-established artistic dialogue between abstraction and figuration in the context of images of violence. During her time at the Foundation, she will research Moore’s drawings of coalminers, commissioned by the War Artist Advisory Scheme in 1942, questioning the relationship between his artistic style and the ethics of representing labour.

Elsewhere, Aguilar will look at bodies in Moore’s work, both those directly depicted and those implied by the artist’s use of perspective, to further explore the use of disembodied viewpoints in her own work and their potential for meaning and new expressions of subjectivity.

Aguilar will also look at Moore’s drawings and sculptures, interrogating the limits of the translation of ideas between the two dimensional and the three dimensional, and the possibilities of developing a sculptural painting practice in turn.

Aguilar has recently begun her residency, in June 2023, predominantly based at Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Hertfordshire. Located at the artist’s former home, Henry Moore Studios & Gardens possesses one of the world’s largest collections of archival material and artworks by a single artist. With a wealth of staff expertise to offer within the Collections & Programmes Department, it offers an unrivalled resource for the understanding and appreciation of every aspect of Moore’s practice and legacy. She will also have the opportunity to spend one week at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, delving into the venue’s extensive Archive of Sculptors’ Papers and Sculpture Research Library.