Continuing through September 23, 2013
A modest group of Ed Moses’s recent “crackle” paintings line the walls. In many ways, Moses is a quintessentially Los Angeles artist. He showed early on at the legendary Ferus Gallery and, even among his ground-breaking West Coast peers, he’s known for his iconoclastic, devil-may-care approach to art-making. He regards his process not exactly as a creative one, but rather as a drive to explore, experiment, and hopefully excite his audience — objectives made fantastically clear in this carefully hung exhibition.
True to their name, Moses’s multi-step “crackle” paintings feature split and peeling surfaces that are crusted over contrasting colors below. Like an exotic lizard shedding its skin, "Green Over Gold" is topped with a crackly layer of verdant, dermis-like varnish, refreshed by substratum hints of gold paint. With its pale-rose façade, "Pink over Black" at first feels exuberantly Californian; a layer of dark paint underneath, however, injects a sobering depth, and the composition resembles something in an advanced stage of deterioration, like the sun-blasted side of a long-deserted building. It goes without saying that these works are absent narrative, but to call them abstract sort of misses the point. Like Ed Moses himself, the “crackle” paintings bristle with individuality, conveying a palpable intensity that commands our attention.