GARDEN OF FORKING TONGUES
OPENING RECEPTION FOR THE ARTISTSATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012
ON VIEW THROUGH MAY 2012
ACE GALLERY LOS ANGELES
SECOND FLOOR GALLERIES
At eighty-five, Ed Moses continues to produce prolific and vibrant bodies of work that impress in their constant mutation of process, technique, and style.
ACE Gallery invites viewers to enter the Garden of Forking Tongues (Bifurcated), an exhibition of the artist's most recent paintings. These works demonstrate Moses's latest pursuit through processó repetition of painting, masking, stenciling, and overlay. Through this practice, Moses uses gradients of color and value as a mechanism of "peering through the looking glass," or through the mimetic illusion that is a flat object. His compositions manipulate our perception. Depth manifests itself through his ability to distort the tangible, giving rise to surfaces that become dimensional.
For sixty years, Moses has made a career through the notion of completely immersing himself in a technical medium, so as to push its boundaries. He often develops a process and works through it meticulously, repeatedly. Any semblance of linear progression is accidental. His virtuosic paintings so adeptly range from those of smooth planes to others of crackly surfaces and buoyant colors to saturated shades. Moses's methodology reveals the painter's conviction through chance, while animating the disquietude of his psyche.
Alluding to the bifurcation of the series title, the fragmentation motif is prevalent and blatant. In Egg Yolk 4 (2010), colors most obviously engrossed Moses. A bright red plane seems to project from the surface of the canvas as a layer separate from the anthropomorphic forms, which are themselves bifurcated, splitting into somewhat autonomous, yet conjoined entities. Here, Moses investigates texture by mixing certain chemicals with his acrylic pigments to achieve a striking crackle effect. This allusion to the antiquated juxtaposes the post-modernity of his fiery aesthetic.
Moses further explores the idea of the segmented in Hogarth (2011). Composed of six canvases, a succession of division in itself, the piece confronts viewers with undulating colors and swelling proportions. Moses applied red, white, and black acrylic paint to stencils atop a black and white patterned fabric. Fragments of fabric emerge from beneath layers of paint in a primitive battle for preeminence. Moses makes use of abstracted shapes and regimented visual canons to represent the mania of his figurative themes. The layers oscillate between background and foreground as the violent clashes of color create a hallucinatory, fractal image that seems to move in waves. By playing with the disparity between positive and negative space through inversion and repetition, Moses masterfully creates a third dimension on a two-dimensional plane.
Moses was born in Long Beach, California in 1926. He graduated with a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. His graduate painting exhibition was held at Ferus Gallery in 1958. He was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1996, and his work was recently included in the survey exhibition Los Angeles: Birth of an Artistic Capital, 1955-1985 at the Pompidou Center, Paris. His artwork has been exhibited internationally and is in several museum collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Six decades into his career, Moses continues to take bold strides with his oeuvre. The artist lives and works in Venice, California.