Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by artist Donald Moffett. Exhibiting at the gallery for the third time, Moffett's newest paintings tie together a number of previous actions. The result is a layered mix of space and content that reveals as much as it conceals.
With a history of pushing the boundaries of paint on canvas by adding to a surface with intricately layered oil and/or light loop projections, Moffett takes an opposite stance in this exhibition and strips the painting surface to its bare bones. Raw linen cut with zippers radiating inward from each of the four corners is the face of each piece. Surface ornamentation is limited to the color of the zipper and light staining of the sized linen.
This face, however, belies the actual work. The true face of the painting is its underside, the backside. Each canvas is fully painted on the verso. The zippers on the front of the piece are undone and the resulting four panels of linen are flayed out beyond the stretcher bars and hammered to the wall with nails. This reveal illuminates another hidden element of the work, the wall behind the canvas is a pool of color matching the back of the flayed quadrants.
The peeling back of the paintings skin to reveal its content has myriad allusions. There is a spiritual reference of revelation from the inside. There is a sexual reference that is both teasing and brazen. There is an emotional reference, the direction of which depends on the color of the painted back, and the psychological implications of opening up. There is a physiological reference, perhaps violent, perhaps clinical, of slicing into flesh, carving.
Moffett expertly balances out these layers of reference with the simple beauty of the flayed works. The pieces are visually inviting with an appealing tactile quality. This aesthetic beauty serves as an entry point for the viewer, a door to access the broader implications of the work.