The Armory Show 2018: New York

Piers 92 & 94 , March 8 - 11, 2018 
Booth 312
Albertz Benda is pleased to present a solo booth of so-called pulled wedge works by Los Angeles artist Ed Moses at the Armory Show on Pier 92, Booth 312 from March 8-11, 2018.

Ed Moses’s [B. 1926, D. 2018] large and significant oeuvre divides itself into chapters, unified by his focus on process and experimentation. From 1971 to 1975, Moses worked solely with the pulled wedge technique. Despite the brevity of this period, his pulled wedge works are among his most widely recognized, and heavily influenced subsequent bodies of work.

The pieces are characterized by patterns of diagonal lines, layered to give an illusion of depth on a flat surface.  Tony Berlant - a fellow Ferus gallery artist - had introduced Moses to Navajo blankets in the late 1960’s, inspiring Moses to incorporate abstract motifs from the textiles into his compositions.  Painting and weaving are inextricably linked in Moses’s work as a means of meditation and reflection on natural patterns and cycles.

These works represent a decisive moment for Moses in which he began to allow randomness and chance into his practice.  The pulled wedge pieces are the outcome of a labor intensive, meticulous process that also leaves room for surprise in the ways in which the paint interacts with the varied surfaces and textures.

Moses’s pulled wedge and resin works are found in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), CA; and The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles, CA, among others.  Pieces from this series were featured recently in exhibitions such as ‘Ed Moses: Cross-Section’ (2014) at the University Art Galleries, UC Irvine, CA and ‘Ed Moses: Drawings from the 1960s and 70s’ (2015) at LACMA, CA.

Ed Moses was born in Long Beach, California, in 1926. He enlisted in the Navy at 17 and served as a surgical technician during World War II. After the war, Moses studied at Long Beach City College before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to train under the expressionist painter Rico Lebrun. In 1958, Moses had his first exhibition of abstract paintings at the Ferus Gallery.

It was at Ferus that Moses would become a member of the raucous group of artists known as the “Cool School”; a group that included Kauffman, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Edward Kienholz, Ken Price, Ed Ruscha, Larry Bell, John Altoon and Wallace Berman—all of whom pushed the boundaries of Post-War art and shaped the nascent LA art scene at a time when almost none existed.

His first museum shows were in 1976: a drawings show of works from 1958-1970s at the Wight Gallery at UCLA, and an abstract painting show at LACMA curated by Stephanie Barron.  He was the subject of a major retrospective at MOCA Los Angeles in 1996, and in 2014 he showed at University of California Irvine where he had taught in the 70s. His art was featured in the Pompidou Center’s 2006 survey exhibition ''Los Angeles: Birth of an Artistic Capital, 1955-1985'' in Paris. In Spring/Summer 2015, LACMA held a major exhibition of Moses’ drawings from the 1960s & 70s.

Moses’s work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hammer Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.