Moses @ 90: Inspiration

Moses @ 90: Inspiration

The extraordinary artist Ed Moses is showing recent works in the former Santa Monica Museum of Art in Bergamot Station. He is 90, and I was told that most of the works on view were done in 2016.

          Now that’s an inspiration.

web1

Moses seems to continually reinvent his oeuvre, breaking new ground with unexpected juxtapositions of color, form, materials, dimension, and use of shapes and space.

web10

web11

web3He works in series…huge gestural paintings that seem to leap off the canvas, yet retain molten centers of passion and energy.

web2  He breaks into the paint, using a “secret sauce” that makes it crack when “activated’ by applying another layer of paint over the dried layer of what sounds suspiciously (to my decorative painter’s ear) like crackle glaze, or at least shellac or white glue, both of which can crack through wet paint laid over it. The effect is stunning.

web4

web6

web5Fun house mirror? After a fashion. This room is a whole installation of reflective metal, painted and cracked pieces, and applique, which combine to transform the world into something never seen before.

web12The distorted head silhouette appears to be a repeating Moses motif…showing up in painted dialogue,

web8and appliquéd onto other wild pieces like these screens stenciled with delicate wallpaper-like florals and punctured by squiggly worm-like cut-outs.

web9On some pieces the head shapes are partially cut out from the surface in concert with the other cut-out shapes and lines,

web7Here shocking yellow cut-out squiggles are sliced with blue. Determinedly undulating,  they seem to be trying to subvert the gray and lacy ivory butterflies and blossoms of their riotously bucolic  environment. I mean…background.

These stunningly inventive works don’t need to come alive…they are alive.

And happily, so is the prolific and endlessly creative Mr. Moses.