Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present Donald Moffett: any fallow field, the artist’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will feature new work that examines nature and human disregard, broadening Moffett's ongoing engagement with the body politic. any fallow field is the first show dedicated to a single artist to be presented in the gallery’s recently expanded Chelsea location, across both 507 and 509 West 24th Street.
In his last exhibition with the gallery, in 2012, Moffett sought to inject “texture and weight” in the dialogue of our increasingly digitized lives. Deepening the interrogation in any fallow field, Moffett reverts to the primal source—nature. “With the tightening noose of social media, and the retinal-screen more generally, my empathies and intellectual inquiries are now with nature. Is there a way to look beyond the neurotic human hive—with its infinite self-interest and love of violence—to see again something more interesting? With this work, I will look the other way and remind myself of what is there,” says Moffett of the exhibition.
any fallow field includes Moffett’s latest extruded paintings, contemplating the natural world. With these signature works, the artist coaxes his oil paint into individual tendrils that are perpendicular to the canvas. These paintings are counterbalanced by a new series of resin works, whose glossy and translucent faces hint at their depth. While the structural form remains consistent within both bodies of work, with their milled holes and cutouts resembling buckshot or flora, the surfaces are unambiguously inversed. In their simplest form, the resin works are a study of material, purely viscous—like honey clinging to the comb. At their most complex, Moffett fuses tinted resin atop photographs that he took over the last year—the images abstracted and suspended as a beetle in amber. Born and raised in Texas, Moffett shares an instinctive kinship with the taciturn environs of his childhood, capturing in photographs barren landscapes, wildflowers, roadsides and fields littered with the remainders of human intervention.
The distinctions between abstraction and representation are blurred throughout the artist’s oeuvre with his employment of the canvas as a surrogate for the body, and in these new works, by his obliteration of the image through perforation and obscuration. This penetration of the painting as object has long concerned Moffett in his frustration with and desire to overcome the limits of the “wall,” compelling him not only to pierce the picture plane but also expand its spatial boundaries.
As such, the paintings in the exhibition will be presented with both standoffs, hovering in front of the wall, and within freestanding contraptions, further challenging the viewers’ acceptance of painting’s two-dimensionality. Moffett says, “The painted surface is still a challenging space for exploration and a search for meaning.”