New York

Ed Moses

Louver Gallery

In his paintings, Ed Moses aspires to a visionary activation of surface. He offers a dense painterliness that never quite congeals into a tight matrix, but maintains a certain airy look, for all its apparent grimness. Perhaps this is because the paint is typically applied in broad vertical (but not simplistically stripelike) bands. Moses uses sharply contrasting blacks and whites; their bleak effect is tempered by lush, squiggly red accents. One doesn’t expect a California artist to convey such intensity and forthright power, but Moses clearly has the courage of his painterly conviction.

The artist’s sweeping bands are particularly interesting, for they convey control in the very act of disinhibition; defensiveness in the very act of showing undefended feeling. The bands are not new for Moses, although they are more pronounced here than in earlier works. In 1988, Moses made paintings

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.