Los Angeles

Ed Moses

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

There are at least two ways to take this exhibition of Ed Moses’ paintings and drawings selected from the last 45 years of his production: either these works testify to Moses’ ceaseless “will to change,” as John Yau, quoting Charles Olson, concludes in his eloquent catalogue essay, or they signal the artist’s unconscious acknowledgment of what Hermann Broch, speaking of Franz Kafka’s wish to destroy his work, called “the ultimate insufficiency of any artistic approach.” Moses restlessly moves from one stylistic mode to another, each contradicting the next; in the end, we are left with an apotheosis of restlessness itself.

In general, Moses oscillates between the figurative and the abstract, thereby creating work that might be regarded as a representation of abstraction, such as the magnificent mural-sized gestural paintings India and Racko #2 (both 1995). Moses rode the crest of Abstract

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