With these works, the artist reveals the vestiges of industry around his adopted-home state of Maine and places a marked emphasis on the landscape which seeks to reclaim them. Moore’s luminous handling of land, sky and water opens the space beyond his signature depictions of factory windows and bridges and, with this heightened atmosphere, recalls the rich tradition of American landscape painting. To assume these paintings are about the continuing decline of industry limits their reach. These paintings are about the beauty and quiet power of the true American landscape – one of cyclical growth and intervention between man and nature.
In his essay for the exhibition catalogue, Christopher Crosman delves deep into the conceptual and formal structure of John Moore’s work. Crosman focuses on Moore’s signature layering of time, space, and composite imagery from sites both real and imagined, as well as his embrace of Maine’s authentic beauty. The new paintings in After the Rain are steeped in the artist’s new-found sense of place in Maine, but do so through the artist’s characteristic sense of mystery and timelessness. Crosman perfectly encapsulates this innate sensibility towards painting:
Cultural and historical allusions aside, Moore is clearly interested in paintings that are simultaneously real and abstract and alive to meanings individual viewers can find within their own experience—how art touches and informs our sense of being in the world and what place means to each of us now and over time. This is what I believe Moore’s bridges and windows posit: linkages between past and present, familiarity and strangeness, rural and urban, idea and feeling. Moore’s paintings join with and extend a continuing American landscape tradition, its post-industrial denouement opening to different, newer, more complex, deeper realms of beauty and transformative promise. Moore’s art connects quiet intersections and passages of distance, time, and memory.