Andy Moses: In Search of the Sublime
JD Malat Gallery
June 10 through July 16, 2022
By LORIEN SUÁREZ, June 2022
Andy Moses' upcoming show "In Search of the Sublime", curated by Sean Scully at JD Malat Gallery in London, opens on June 10. The exhibition comprises a collection of paintings that, through a push-pull between a representation of reality and illusionary abstract space, finds perceptual resonance with le joie de vivre. As Shana Nys Dambrot noted, (Moses) "manipulates thickness instead of brushwork, motion instead of gesture to replicate both natural and transformational process, forcing idea and matter into a conscious collaboration. Moses is evolving; reaching toward an essential way...to convey...those moments in nature when the convergence of abstract aesthetics and emotional possibilities approaches the sublime". It's a creative awareness that James Hayward saw as a transition from "searching to finding" in his artwork. Peter Frank observed, "In Moses' work, space is curved and not curved, endless and depthless, invisible and optically all-encompassing." The concaved rectangular, flat hexagonal, and circular canvases reveal unending vanishing points of infinite comprehensiveness. Therefore, the artist conveys a metaphysical invitation drawn visually from his paintings.
Andy Moses recalls that in their dialogues about art, Sean Scully introduced him to John “Madman” Martin’s painting. A contemporary of Turner, Martin’s landscapes were commanding, dramatic compositions heightened by an exuberant chromatic selection. At the time, the moniker “Madman” categorized him and his unapologetically animated work. Both Scully and Moses saw in Martin’s landscapes a kindred understanding of life’s inherent drama and nature’s power.
Emily Dickinson wrote of such a rapturous connection to life. "Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough." Akin to Dickinson, Moses' art intuits the ecstatic dimension of being. While surfing in his youth, he recalls the experience of "seeing water in motion while floating through it," sensitizing him to its existential features. While "seeing how everything was changing, shifting, moving and coming together," there appeared an "infinite sense of universal beauty." For each instance on the board, a distinct pocket of nature's beauty came to light; he touched that stirring opus lacing through time, materials, and dimensional space.
Patterns arise and dissipate in the natural world as oceans and dunes constantly reframe into new forms. "Some are ephemeral, and others occur so slowly that we are unable to perceive them" other than through a geological knowledge. Moses speaks of "fields and spaces" that connect to pivotal forces that issue as the Universe unfolds.
As Moses states, "Aspects are happening in the paintings that I wouldn't have been able to predict in advance. Yet, as images are coming through, it's up to me to respond to the ones I am going with. While moving and shifting patterns occur, I am attuned towards what feels more like what I am after; and it is here where my agency and hand come into the work. I have ideas beforehand, but they slip out the window once I make the work. I have figured out that if I do this, then that will happen. In this sense, I have a lot of control. I have a clear sense of what the possibilities can be. What's exciting about working with this process is that I only have to change a few things to open up a brand new direction for discovery of its fractal patterns. I work on an aspect for a period of time until I feel connected with all the outcomes that will be and at a place where I know I have the best possible understanding of what's going on. Then while working on a painting, it all becomes a more concentrated experience. The natural forms and its dynamics introduce patterns and effects that I've previously explored, and at that point in time, I work without any need for later alterations."
Moses' art conceptually represents echoes of landscapes and their natural fractal unfolding. Alongside the simultaneous manifestation of an inner creative spiritual journey, as an artist, he experiences a parallel physical synchronicity with the material and manual act of pouring as its dispersal becomes a compositional reality. That layering of numerous streams, which rest as independent lines of paint without intermingling moves in a distinctive form of resonance. Alongside his inner contemplation, the flows come alive at that particular point in time.
His work stimulates a meaningful process grounded through years of examination. He aligns with such kinesthetic knowledge while tilting paint and directing the medium's fluid course. The layers settle meticulously one upon another as a cohesive composition suggesting millennial or ephemeral natural patterns.
The process he employs while making art arises from a contemplative dimension and imbues his labor with meaning and significance. There are a number of queries that arise. What's the degree of connection that the human hand plays with his compositional process? How does he considers his work’s influence on the art-making process? The material paint, through its application, yielding distinct liquid streams of fractals, responds to universal forces that act upon it through natural laws. Gravity for one. Does this, ultimately, of its own serve to evoke an alternate dimension? Or is this heightened dimension available to the artist and only this authorship allows for its appearance?
The horizon and the sculpted forms of his paintings as curving physical objects situate his composition in a context like the earth's spherical contour. An artwork’s development as the layers rest can add up to a considerable volume of poured paint that take a number of weeks to dry. In addition, the paint has a variable quality. The same hue can shift chromatically as the paint reflects light and reveals another color range entirely. The interference paints enhance light’s effects as it reflects upon its concavity. All these elements imbue a sense of motion. Thus, light and color achieve an animated effect upon the beholder’s responsive gaze.
As a concluding reflection, Moses asserts: "I wanted that experience of being on my own with the elements of nature, where water and wind moved me. I found the point where I saw the earth from a different point of view and could concurrently stay and move with the water’s flow. I felt that there was this whole territory out there where you can have this metaphysical, meditative kind of experience. Some of my more intellectualized paintings touched upon the NY Times science stories. The silkscreen works were scaled micro and macro black and whites of natural phenomena; all were endeavors to understand the Universe at all these levels. While now, working with color, well, there's something to working with color. It takes you to spaces that are more magical and transcendent. And it's something that I need. I understand the scope of color theory through art history. Even so, how I see color is very personal. And naturally, so is my use of color. I physically sense that I need to go into these spaces and work in them. Otherwise, I feel like I'm suffocating. Then, I reach that ecstatic place. I hope that I am sharing enough with the viewer to make a similar experience beckon to them. By getting you there…then who knows what? If I can get you there, I am very happy." WM
As a Geometric Abstract artist, Lorien Suárez-Kanerva explores the dynamic interplay of color, light, and geometric patterns found in nature and the cosmos. A Retrospective of Lorien’s work titled “Coalescing Geometries” won First Place in Non-Fiction at the 2019 International Latino Book Awards. She has exhibited in several curated solo and group shows in NYC, Los Angeles, and Miami. Her artwork appears at International Art Fairs and educational centers including Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Museum of Art, and UC Berkeley’s Engineering Department. Lorien resides in Palm Desert, California.view all articles from this author