Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of recent paintings, prints, and works on paper by Jill Moser entitled Hold to Drift. The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist on Friday, February 26 and continues through April 1, 2016. Moser will give a gallery talk on Saturday, February 27 at 11 am.
Moser’s paintings, prints, and works on paper are gestural, richly hued works in which chaotic bursts of energy are balanced by the artist’s impulse toward minimalism. Moser explains that her intention is to celebrate and crystallize the event of making and to make the performative aspects of painting visible. The physical artwork is an indexical record of her hand and body in motion laying color on canvas, paper, and etching plate. Her paintings are of a moment in time and, in this sense, they are about time. Simultaneously there is certain timelessness in Moser’s work as well – as echoes of high modernism (recall Roy Lichtenstein’s brushstrokes series or Clyfford Still’s stained canvases) contrast Moser’s decidedly postmodern embrace of instability and unresolve.
In his 2012 essay “Caught in the Act,” art critic Stephen Westfall describes Moser’s work as “simultaneously incandescent and freezing, like tropical birds preening on an iceberg. The white ground sets the temperature but the gestural membranes of [...] paint establish the ultra-cool tone, a floating quality that posits a hypnotic dislocation as an observed condition of modern life and a seed-bed for a necessary rediscovery and restatement of the beautiful.” The title of the exhibition Hold to Drift aptly suggests simultaneous stillness and movement, as Moser’s paintings both hold firmly in the concreteness of the mark, and drift away with the evanescence of sea spray.
Hold to Drift presents four distinct but related bodies of work, unified by vibrancy of color and immediacy of gesture. Moser includes a selection of medium and large canvases, a series of small Fingerprint paintings (10 x 10 inches, each), two trios of recently released etchings, and mixed media collages on paper. The larger paintings from 2012 through 2014, including Tuning, demonstrate chromatic shifts that activate a dialogue between complementary hues and responsive marks. Moser’s series of small Fingerprints investigates the qualities and characteristics of her brushstrokes. She explains, “These began as footnotes, notations for the larger paintings but as I continued to paint them they grew into a collection of essential marks and moves in my work – an atlas of sorts” (2014). The two etching suites, entitled Wingate and Coastlines are Moser’s most saturated prints to date with their rich, complex hues. Additionally, a series of collages, the newest works in the exhibition, add heightened drama with their interrupted gestures and layered accumulation of pigment and mark.
Jill Moser was born in New York, NY, where she currently lives and works. She earned her BA in 1978 from Brown University, and her MFA in 1981 from Hunter College in New York. She is the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship (1992) and the Brooklyn Museum’s Max Beckmann Scholarship in Painting (1978-79). She has taught at multiple prestigious schools, and has served as both a visiting artist and adjunct professor in the Graduate Painting Department at VCU. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions, she has exhibited in major group museum shows including Graphic Masters III: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. (2010);; Recent Acquisitions: Works on Paper, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2003);; Black & White Drawings, The Museum of Modern Art (1993), all, New York, New York;; American Art Since WW II: Prints & Drawings, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (1989);; Line: Making the Mark, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas (2015). Her work is held in many notable public and private collections including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, all, New York, NY;; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL;; The National Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, both, Washington, D.C;; National Library of France in Paris;; Microsoft Corporation, Albuquerque, NM;; Markel Corporation, Richmond, VA, and Pfizer Corporation, New York, NY.