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Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present The Hollow, a solo exhibition of new works by Donald Moffett. The exhibition marks his ninth solo show with the gallery and will be on view November 27, 2020 – January 18, 2021 at the gallery’s space in Aspen, Colorado.
The Hollow continues the artist’s interest in minimalist, abstract forms that simultaneously carry personal and metaphorical meaning. As art historian Kate Nesin recently wrote, “Moffett tends to work in series, and often in rhythmic alternation, oscillating not only between formal positions but also between conceptual modes, micro- and macro- points of view—considerations of the particular body…and of the body politic.” 1 The works on view in the exhibition include a grouping of Moffett’s extruded and resin techniques from the glory hole series. In his extruded paintings, the artist methodically extends individual tendrils of oil paint to stand perpendicular to the canvas, creating a bristling three-dimensional surface. In contrast, Moffett’s resin works on view achieve a luminous appearance by pouring pigmented resin on the painting’s surface. The structural planes of these works are disrupted with circular and organically shaped cutouts that the artist drills through the paintings. The resulting works, through the thick application of paint and resin, border between painting and three-dimensional object.
Moffett subverts traditional notions of painting and abstraction, employing innovative technique and methodology to disrupt the surface in his process of extruding paint, resin-pouring, and routing his monochromatic works. Throughout Moffett’s practice, this diversity and complication of technique presents itself in numerous forms, including works that feature projected light or film on canvas, or the hand-sewn holes and zippers seen in his Fleisch works. The line, however, between figuration and abstraction is further blurred in the glory hole works by way of the artist’s likening of the canvas to the body and nature and sex. The subtle coding of the painting’s orifice-like holes and lush textures splits across multiple concerns: formal, metaphorical, structural.
Donald Moffett notes: “I regard this fact: the size and shape of a hollow depends on the age of the tree.”
New York-based artist Donald Moffett (b. 1955) emerged as both an artist and activist in the late 1980s, participating in the ACT UP movement and as a founding member of the collective Gran Fury. Moffett challenges the traditional flat frame through non-traditional painting techniques, employing a private language of form that serves as a carrier for both personal and political meaning. Moffett often treats the canvas as a surrogate for the body, creating orifices by cutting and flaying or perforating the canvas. The resulting compositions are provocative and poetic, hinting at pleasure and playfulness, all the while serving as an implicit form of social critique.
1 Kate Nesin, “The Body of the Work,” in Fleisch: Donald Moffett, © 2020 Marianne Boesky Gallery, Essay © 2020 Kate Nesin.
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