What's on Los Angeles | Index

by Jody Zellen

January 7, 2021

Andy Moses
Recent Works
William Turner Gallery
December 5, 2020 - February 10, 2021

Andy Moses

In Andy Moses' recent paintings, contrasting colors flow within circular and hexagon shaped canvases to create a push/pull sensation across the surface. The works draw viewers in and ask them to suspend the known in favor of the unexpected. Moses wants to take his viewers on a visual journey that is simultaneously celestial and molecular. In each painting, he employs a limited palette of intense colors that often emanate from the center and swirl out toward the edges. Integral to the pieces are the alchemical properties of paint and the uncanny ways colors interact on the surface. For example, in eodynamics-1703 (2020), gold and blue-green swashes of color undulate across the hexagonal canvas alluding to the constant motion of ocean waves that ebb and flow from a central vortex.

Moses' paintings are complex imbroglios that defy understanding. While his process is additive, it is impossible to reverse engineer the construction of the images. Fascinated by the micro and the macro, the geologic and the galactic, Moses references nature and its dynamic forces, creating abstract works that explore basic color relationships while simultaneously suggesting lava or river flows as well as star trails in the night sky.

Moses often starts small, creating studies for his larger works where he determines color relationships and the possible flow of the paint. A wall of seven 20-inch acrylic on lucite hexagon panels serves as an index to the larger pieces where Moses carefully enlarges and perfects his method.

Circular works like Geodesy 1505 (2019) and Geodesy 1508 (2020) both 72 inches in diameter have the feel of abstracted planets seen from afar where fields of contrasting colors: magentas, blues and yellows in Geodesy 1508 and blues, purples and greens in Geodesy 1505 oscillate, flowing from the center of the tondo in controlled arcs toward the edges. While the circular works seem like planets —- contained worlds of imagined colors—- the hexagons are less reminders of the natural world than the history of abstraction and color field painting. Moses' concave paintings including Nocturne 1502 (2020) and Geomorphology 1707 (2019) are large rectangles with arced surfaces that accentuate the idea of a horizon line or a vanishing point within an abstracted landscape. Within these mysterious and luminous spaces, Moses explores tensions and energies created from expanses of interlocking colors that flow across the canvases. In Geomorphology 1707 (2020) a striation of white splits the composition into two halves. Above could be sky, below the sea. Though not mirror images, the top and bottom portions of the painting have similar ripples of blue, green and yellow-orange curvilinear striations that suggest celestial storm surges or spiraling vortexes being swallowed into the sea.

Moses is a master at his craft and his evocative and intriguing paintings allow viewers to get lost in the unknowns of abstraction and delight in the power of overlapping and contrasting colors that undulate atop the paintings. Because of their size, the paintings have a commanding presence and dominate the viewer's field of view— which becomes an open invitation to enter into Moses' world and to remain there as long as they are able. What they see and what they take away is dependent on how easily they are open to the idea of transcendence.