June Kelly Gallery


John L. Moore
 Obsessive Memory
Paintings and Drawings

John L. Moore - Blue and Orange, 2008, oil on canvas, 80 x 67 inches

Blue and Orange, 2008
Oil on canvas
80 x 67 inches

 John Moore’s exhibition titled, Obsessive Memory, a body of arresting paintings, and drawings, vast pictorial space, like universal emptiness in landscape, against which simple oblique forms, often saturated with political content, cajole consciousness of experience, will open at the June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street on Thursday, May 7.  The work will remain on view through June 29, 2021.

Moore wants his work to be seen not as pictures but as experiences, wrote curator and writer, Charlotte Kotik in the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts brochure accompanying the exhibition ARTNOW.

In works from the early 1990's, writes Moore, black oval shapes served as surrogates for the presence of the figure, in later works the oval shapes represent mirrors.  I use the image of mirrors as a metaphor in an oblique way of referring to various contemporary issues. As they do not reflect images, the mirrors are used in a manner of questioning that, which is not seen.  These mirrors, often dark, unyielding, or sometimes reflecting light, are about absence, falsehoods, the denial of truths, and the search for meaning.  Often the mirror appears ready to enter into/or to be exiting the painting.  These images-protagonist-ovals- are carriers of missing information suggesting a more troubling placement of our own conflicted histories.

Eleanor Hartney writes in the text accompanying the exhibition titled Black organized by International Art Creativities, Inc. and Haenah-Kent Gallery, John Moore’s circles, ovoids and ellipses make reference to the tradition of geometric abstraction.  At the same time, they suggest cartoonish, anthropomorphic presences set within a watery, gestural field.  Floating in what appears to be an empty cosmos, they are pervaded by a sense of motion and metamorphosis. As a result, they have an existential air, acting as counterparts of the human effort to create meaning and purpose in an unresponsive universe.

As much as these works are about rather serious stuff, there is often a cartoon like presence lurking in the paintings.  A title, says Moore, can be descriptive and, at the same time, carry commentary.  In the painting titled Black and Blue 2001, cropped forms from previous paintings are present - one suggestive of a trap is at the bottom, and another of a small mirror is located at the top.  A large mirror is absent from its frame and the frame appears to be carried by the wind. The title Black and Blue could suggest the results of a fight.  “My works draw from my experiences, memories, dreams and my reflections on our conflictive history.

Moore works and lives in New York.  A graduate of Kent University where he received both his B.FA. and M.A. degrees.  Moore’s work has been shown in numerous one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally.  His work is included in private and public collections, among them Birmingham Museum of Arts, AL., The Brooklyn Museum, NY, The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH., The Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA., Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, OH., The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, AL., New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, Queens, NY, Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio, Muscarelle Museum of Art. The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, and The New York Public Library.


Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Black and Blue - 2001

Lundy - 1997

River, Red - 2003

Untitled - 2000

Empty Mirrors - 2006

2 Red Mirrors - 1999

  John L. Moore Bio

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