Press Release - En Espanol: Carrie Moyer
Boston Globe Review Jan. 26, 2002
The Gallery @ Green Street is proud to present new paintings by Carrie Moyer in her first solo exhibition in New England. Carrie Moyer creates large paintings that effortlessly balance representation and abstraction. Moyer uses poured and drawn areas of flat, opaque, paint in layered compositions loaded with 60's hippie references, liberation and a great color sense. The eye-popping directness of the hard edged rendering is complemented by the large scale and emphasizes connections to the graphic styles of billboards, album covers and posters which fill and annotate the visual space of our political and personal histories.
Carrie Moyer Meat Cloud (2001) 72 x 84 in.
This is the second in a series of investigations into the work of a single artist which began last fall. These solo exhibits seek to demonstrate great regional talents at the point in time when their work is punctuated by a change conceptually or stylistically. All of the works in the exhibit were created in 2001 and over half have never been exhibited.
Representation and references to pop-cultural icons have rarely been so seamlessly interwoven with abstraction. Moyer orchestrates layers of image, icon and pure color into compositions that create deep space, flat planes and vibrating edges that expose just enough recognizable imagery to pique our curiosity. Moyer fills her work with images of radical revolutionaries that she remembers from growing up in communes in the 1960's, ranging from Valerie Solanis to Karl Marx to Angela Davis and Patty Hearst. The artist creates high-chroma landscapes that engulf this imagery, hiding areas behind curtains of poured paint or outlines of bodies, symbolic icons or monuments. These paintings, that Moyer describes as possessing a " ...sort of a nostalgia for a revolution that everybody thought was going to happen but never did...", are innovative in their use of "old" messiahs of revolution to create "new" stylistically revolutionary paintings with a truly progressive conscience. These works deftly avoid just being "Retro".
Carrie Moyer Affiche #3 (The American Plague) (2001) acrylic on linen 42 x 50 in.
Carrie Moyer uses her graphic skills to create meaningful, funky and utopian compositions that "...tie America's adolescence to [her] own", and in doing so, the symbolic language is reclaimed from a T-shirt logo and emphasized as the underpinning of a smart, exuberant, political painting. Eclectic and visionary these powerful works present us with a resolved image of liberation which does not shy away from mortality, religion, communism, lesbianism, slavery or the even retinal delights of pure color.
(L) Carrie Moyer Everything For Everybody (2001) 68 x 58in. and (R) Carrie Moyer Yesterday's Party (2001) 58 x 68 in.
Carrie Moyer was first exhibited @ Green Street two years ago in the show "Close to You" with Fritz Buehner, Robin Dash, Georgia Metz, Diana Puntar and Sheila Pepe. This exhibit is her First Solo exhibit in Boston and features several works never exhibited before anywhere. The reference to "The Bard Paintings" comes from the important shift from a vertical, figurative composition style seen in the 1999 Green Street group exhibit "Close to You" exhibition (curated by Shiela Pepe) and in her 2000 solo exhibit "God's Army" at Debs & Co. in New York to a horizontal, landscape composition crystallized in her second year of Graduate school at Bard College, NY. The largest acrylic on linen work is 72" x 84", with four at 68" x 58" each and a group of three "poster" sized works that are 50" x 42".
This shift from central, vertical compositions to a less compressed, horizontal one pulls the layers of imagery out from under one another and allows Moyer's impressive compositional skills to be used to their greatest effect (she used to make ends meet as a sought after graphic and web site designer). The skeins of poured paint are hung on an architectural framework of linear drawings floating in front of layers of unmodulated, vibrating color.
Carrie Moyer Here Now (1999) From "Close To You" @ Green Street in 1999
Other projects: Dyke Action Machine ( with Sue Schaffner )
The structural integrity of these overlapping planes is softened by their theatrical quality. We seem to wait patiently for the curtain of one layer to be pulled back revealing more of what we are curious about below it. In Everything For Everybody, (2001) the line quality of the edge of a puddle of semi-transparent paint is treated as much formal rigor as the outline of Tatlin's "Monument to the Third International." In Yesterdays Party (2001), the polka-dot landscape from the Beatle's " Yellow Submarine" cartoon is used to create a deep pictoral space inhabited by a "Grim Reaper" partially obscured by a blood-colored "cloud" of poured paint and glitter.
That Moyer has effectively reinvigorated the iconography of liberation, long since diminished into a convenient short-hand for visual style, cannot be understated. These works are attached to the artist and personalize a utopian vision lost in the ensuing decades of consumerism. The subtlety of just who is pictured (can you really recognize Patty Hearst or Mao Tse Tung or even remember Cotton Mather or Valerie Solanis?) seems to awaken our collective memory and remind us that there are truly loftier goals than mere personal wealth, capitalism as a religion or the endless consumption of disposable goods.