Andy Moses is doubly cursed. Not only is he the son of renowned 90-year-old painter Ed Moses, who remains so much a part of LA's art scene, he was determined to become an artist as well.
"Ocean of the Mind," 2006
Acrylic on canvas over concave wood panel 54 x 114 inches
After studying at Cal Arts from 1979 to 1982 , he moved to New York where he could operate outside of the family orbit. After 15 years there, he moved back to LA where he has been making his own unparalled paintings.
The trajectory can be seen in the first survey of his work now on view at the Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery at Santa Monica College.
"Nasa to Probe the Heavens Natural Chemicals," 1988
Acrylic, alkyd and silkscreen on canvas; 65 x 90 inches
A 1988 picture in the show features a rocky, gray surface like that of the moon buttressed by columns of text. The title, "Nasa to Probe the Heavens Natural Chemicals" (1988), derives from two articles that were appropriated from the New York Times and reveals his initial interest in the skies above and the earth below. It also reveals the lingering influence of studying with Conceptual artists like Michael Asher and John Baldessari.
"R.A.D. 1601," 2015
Acrylic on polycarbonate mounted on parabolic vertical concave wood panel; 60 x 84 inches
In 2000, Moses moved back to Venice. A renewed appreciation for the area's horizontality, crisp sunshine, dazzling sunrises and sunsets over the Pacific had an impact. But he did not stop there. Inspired by the shape of Cinerama projection screens developed in the 1960s, Moses constructed massive parabolic concave or convex panels on which he could flow streams of luminous blues or incandescent reds. You could be physically as well as visually and emotionally overwhelmed by these paintings.
"R.A.D. 1704," 2015
Acrylic on polycarbonate mounted on parabolic vertical concave wood panel 60 x 84 inches
Long fascinated by the sciences and ancient alchemy, Moses has continued to experiment in his painting, pushing the work beyond its references to land, sea and sky. Each piece is made in a single application. Chemical reactions of the acrylic on the polycarbonate surface determine the appearance so there is always an element of chance. To integrate the physical with the perceptual, Moses has bowed the outer edges of his panels, expanded their dimensions and repeatedly changed palettes
"Geomorph 1504," 2016
Acrylic on polycarbonate mounted on wood panel; 69 x 94 inches
In one of the most recent paintings, "Geomorph 1504" (2016), a massive form shaped like a boulder in swirling tones of orange and ultramarine rises before the striated opticality of the background. The appearance of dimension created by the foreground and background patterns generates an intense visual vibration. The piece seems to hum.
"The Alchemist," 1998
Oil and powdered pigment on wood panel; 54 inches’ diameter
The show, organized by gallery director Marian Winsryg, reveals an artist who has continually increased his ambition to bring something new and intensely personal to notions of light and space traditionally associated with the art of Southern California. On view to March 25.
All images courtesy of William Turner Gallery.