Los Angeles

Robert Moore

Adele Bednarz Gallery

Moore, a native Californian working in New York, is having his first show on the West Coast. The execution and composition of his work is clear, confident and strong, and seems to express his intention of painting “the primal forces of nature.” It is an elemental nature, generated by the sun and rooted and fertilized in the earth. Most of his images are forces of generation and of continuance: the sun, a seed, the earth, a growing plant. His most successful paintings are his later ones, in which he applies his pigment thinly and utilizes his massive shapes (reminiscent of Gottlieb) in a free and unrestrained manner. The dark huge simple forms act as both flat silhouettes placed in front of an open background to suggest the earth, and as heavy screenlike coverings enfolding and containing patches of luminous purples, pinks, greens and blues. In his lighter canvases, done in bright oranges and yellows, he uses shapes more specifically as symbols and does not let them “grow” out of the canvas, so that in “The Sun Worshipper” for example, they seem contrived and too explicit. (Adding to this impression is a blurb written by the artist and placed next to the painting, which explains what the symbols mean.)

Moore’s most powerful feature is his color sense. His colors are seldom mixed or used in an expressionistic manner; rather, concentrated areas of pure color are used to give a bright vitality and a rich relief from the dark, fertile masses which surround them.

––Emily Wasserman