Over Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 16 through 19, Art Palm Springs brings galleries from North and South America and Europe, along with hundreds of artists from around the globe to the Palm Springs Convention Center. The increasingly popular fair has more than doubled the number of attending galleries since launching from just over 30 in 2013 to over 60 in 2017, drawing thousands of art buyers and fans to the fair each year.
The 2018 honorees are pioneering California artist Ed Moses, represented by William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, Calif., and Andy Moses presented by Melissa Morgan Fine Artd in Palm Desert, Calif.
The duo join the ranks of Art Palm Springs’ Artist of the Year impressive list of Post War and Contemporary honorees including Judy Chicago, Mel Ramos, Jennifer Bartlett, Fletcher Benton, Larry Bell, and Lita Albuquerque.
“This year is a first to have the opportunity to honor both Ed and Andy Moses as Artists of the Year,” said Donna Davies, Vice President of the Art Group for Urban Expositions, producer of Art Palm Springs. “Their combined work to date has been a tremendous influence for more than seven decades. We are tremendously honored to include them both this year.”
Ed Moses, the abstract painter and self-described “retired playboy,” is a member of an elite set of artists that were part of L.A.'s scene-shaping Ferus Gallery in the 1950s and '60s.
Born on an ocean liner headed to Long Beach, Calif., from Hawaii in 1931, Ed Moses had wanted to be a doctor, not an artist. After serving as a surgical tech during World War II, he entered Long Beach City College’s pre-med course, but dropped out, saying “I was too dumb, I couldn’t memorize things” in a 2016 interview published in the Los Angeles Times.
Taking an art class with painter Pedro Miller changed Moses’ life. He entered UCLA’s art program and met artist Craig Kauffman who then introduced him to Walter Hopps owner of the influential Ferus Gallery, in turn the site of Moses’ graduate one-man show in 1958.
It was at Ferus that Moses became a member of the raucous art scene that included Kauffman, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Edward Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Larry Bell, John Altoon and Wallace Berman, or the Cool School of artists who pushed the boundaries of Post War art.
Moses has noted that his life and art are “about exploring the phenomenal world.” Unlike many of his contemporaries from the ‘60s and ‘70s who worked in conceptual, Pop Art (Ruscha), Light and Space (Bell) and assemblage, Moses never embraced any single art movement. Rather, Moses continued to experiment. Without the imposition of any particular preconceived concept for his work, he opened himself up to the “happy accidents” that occur when facing a blank canvas. The act of the creation of a piece, along with the interaction of applying paint or other media to a base material is the artistic process in its purest form.
Now in his 90s, after bouts with cancer and heart surgery, Moses shows no sign of slowing down. He still creates one to 20 works each day. In 2016, Moses created more than 50 works for a survey exhibition at William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica. "Moses @ 90" filled the Bergamot Station Gallery and a former adjacent Santa Monica Museum of Art space with paintings and works on paper from the '50s to 2016, with many works that had never been seen in public before.
Newer works are displayed in two viewing studios on the Venice property with space for the enormous, craquelure paintings created in the last several years. Covering the 6 to 8-foot canvases in black or white paint and a secret “sauce” that he allows to dry before slamming a fist or elbow onto the surface to create the splits and cracks that he finishes by rolling paint over the shattered surface. The technique, discovered by accidently falling onto a canvas, creates fissures reminiscent of flower petals and the artist’s rose drawings of the 1960s.
Then there are the panels that feature aluminum coated in plastic that distort reflections with their wavy surfaces, what Moses calls his “Lewis Carroll-style.”
Other recent works include acrylic on canvas that emit the energy and emotional imprint of the moment of creation. Splatters, drizzles and patchworks of color created using brushes, rollers and sponges in an erratic, Jackson Pollock-like manner.
"These paintings are ways that I can act out a thought or feeling — terror, misery, death,” he has said of his methods and work.
Beginning February 15, Melissa Morgan Fine Art will host a booth of solo works by Andy Moses at Art Palm Springs. Melissa Morgan Fine Art has exclusively represented the younger Moses’ work in the Coachella valley for the past 12 years.
Since the mid-1980s, Andy Moses has made paintings that walk a fine line between gestural abstraction and new forms of representation. Over the past 15 years he has explored a multitude of surfaces and supports including convex and concave and parabolic shapes. He is currently working on a series of paintings on more extreme three-dimensional shapes.
From his earliest works he has employed radical and experimental painting techniques that push the boundaries of paint application as well as parallel natural forces in order to activate fresh conceptual and perceptual experiences. Surface patterns embrace the notion of fractal patterning that repeat across all scales of nature, simultaneously suggesting earth, water, or sky as seen on both micro and macro scales as well as multiple vantage points. Oscillating between being suggestive of technological simulations of nature well as purely as gestural abstract paintings, they encompasses and invites associations and dialogues between many disparate phenomenon and notions as well as references to historical painting both abstract and representational.
Moses fils was the subject of a 30-year survey at the Pete and Susan Barrett Gallery at Santa Monica College in February 2017. His work is now on view in the 25th anniversary exhibition at the Frederic R. Weisman Art Foundation at Pepperdine University campus in Malibu.
He was born in Los Angeles and studied at California Institute of the Arts in the 1980s with many seminal figures in conceptual art including Michael Asher, John Baldessari, Douglas Huebler and Barbara Kruger. Shortly after his graduation from CalArts he moved to New York City to work as a studio assistant for Pat Steir. He began exhibiting his work in New York with Annina Nosei Gallery in 1986. Concurrent to working with Annina Nosei, Andy began exhibiting with Patricia Faure Gallery in L.A. where he continued to exhibit through 2007.
Andy now exhibits with William Turner Gallery in L.A. and Melissa Morgan Fine Art in Palm Desert. Over the length of his career, he has been shown internationally including exhibits in Italy, Norway, and Switzerland. His work is in numerous important private and public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), Laguna Art Museum, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. Like his father, Andy Moses lives and works in Venice, Calif.
The Moses’ will receive the Artist of the Year Award during Art Palm Springs taking place February 16-19, 2018. Arts Patron of the Year Award will be presented to during the Opening Night Celebration February 15, 2018. Art Palm Springs takes place at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Tickets and a complete schedule for Art Palm Springs are available on the website at www.art-palmsprings.com.
As the list of Art Palm Springs participating galleries continues to grow, the initial group of galleries committed to participate in the 2018 art fair includes:
Adamar Fine Arts
Addison Rowe Fine Art
C. Grimaldis Gallery
Charlotte Jackson Fine Art
George Billis Gallery
Jane Kahan Gallery
Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art
Jorge Mendez Gallery
Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery
Melissa Morgan Fine Art
Nancy Hoffmann Gallery
Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery
Travelogues Fine Art
William Turner Gallery
Art Palm Springs is owned by Atlanta-based Urban Expositions, which produces Art Aspen, Art Hamptons, Houston Art Fair, Art Palm Springs, and the Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago. All art fairs are presented by galleries from around the world exhibiting modern and contemporary art in a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed-media.
For more information about Urban Expositions’ art and design fairs, visit the following websites:
Art Palm Springs | www.art-palmsprings.com
Art Aspen | www.art-aspen.com
SOFA CHICAGO | www.sofaexpo.com
FORM MIAMI | www.formmiami.com