Ed Moses is considered one of the founding fathers of the Los Angeles contemporary art scene. The dynamic, diverse collection of paintings on display at the Sylvia White Gallery is a testament to Moses’s place in art history.
His large-scale works are simultaneously reminiscent of the American abstract expressionists and the Russian constructionists. Despite these similarities, he has developed his own distinct style and it has mutated throughout his 50-plus years of painting.
Such mutation is the product of pure spontaneity. When Moses approaches a canvas, there is no agenda, there is no pre-image. There are only pre-experiences and processes. It is “through these different processes that things start to appear,” Moses explains. “I am looking for that primordial apparitional figure. Things happen that I can either project in or extract out and say, ‘I like that.'”
With “Nambe #8,” the process began in 1987 and ended in 1997. During that time, he created multiple levels of different-colored grids, instilling both depth and flatness in its three-dimensional woven patterns.
“Untitled, 1987” demonstrates Moses’s ability to once again reinvent his work. Gone are the hard-edged architectural lines emblematic of the ’80s. Instead, he infused his canvas with what he referred to as his “apparitions”-dreamy, crisscrossing trails of washed paint that could have been left behind by an errant garden snail. Despite the seeming chaos, Moses creates a spatially sophisticated composition.
Contrasting with the intense energy reflected in most of the works represented in Ed Moses: Processed Art, “BO #1” might well articulate Moses’s latest, 21st Century mutation. Working with lush, thick swashes of gray-blue paint fashioned into delicate folds of ribbon, one laid gently on top of the other, Moses draws the viewer into the ethereal world of the painting, which is also reminiscent of the holiday ribbon candy from a bygone era.
Ed Moses: Processed Art will be on display November 11 December 5, 2009; opening reception, Saturday, November 14, 3 p.m. 5 p.m. During the reception, Moses will speak about art and sign his latest book and first major monograph, Ed Moses (book available for purchase at the gallery); Sylvia White Gallery, 1783 E. Main St., Ventura (805) 643-8300. Gallery hours: Wednesday Saturday 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. www.sylviawhite.com