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ED MOSES | ‘Cho’, ‘Tsohg’ and ‘Frank-Berta’
November 16th 2023
Rarely touching a brush, and instead applying paint by stroking, staining and splashing, Ed Moses’ innovative methods and nonconformist thinking made him one of the key artists in post-war American painting. Always working with new techniques and processes that sets him apart, the artist has been described as a ‘restless painter’, referring to Moses’ ever-changing and developing style. The experimental approach to his practice has strayed into geometrical grids made of roses deriving from a Mexican textile, or abstract paintings created with a rag-mob; to just mention a few. Three lithographic editions titled Cho, Tsohg and Frank-Berta are examples of his late abstract style.
by Henrik Riis
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
Standing in front of Moses’ work, the moment the arrangement on the canvas starts to take form or make figurative sense, it is gone. Like the blurry shapes which occur at the edge of vision. Right there, his abstract images have caught the eye in the intimate act of perceiving where static forms creates the familiar what is commonly agreed to reality. Seconds later, straight lines with architectural notions go back to being just lonely singular lines, and contours of what could be human bodies return to being stains or spills of ink and paint. To the viewer there is no objective truth to what Moses shows, but rather a fluid and subjective sensation.

Moses’ artistic career took off soon after graduating from art school at the University of California in Los Angeles, and it was clear from his work that he was following a different path from that of his L.A. compatriots. The early exhibition at the just-opened Ferus Gallery quickly established himself as an artist in the ever-growing West Coast art world. At Ferus, he was represented by a gallery that was defining the Los Angeles art scene in the late fifties; a space exhibiting anything new and commercial risky along the lines of Pop artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns. The art scene in the fifties, particularly the one on the West Coast, largely responded to the lingering influences of Surrealism by making use of domestic materials and found objects. A medium that seemed appropriate amongst post-war concerns for the impermanency of the world and material ‘things’ in general. Ed Moses, in contrast, continued to paint; a medium that at the time was more associated with traditional European art. Although, Moses’ paintings were far from traditional.
ED MOSES
Cho, 2001

Edition of 50
10 Artist Proof (APs)

76(w) x 56(h) cm
30.12(w) x 22.24(h) inches
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ED MOSES
Cho, 2001

Edition of 50
10 Artist Proof (APs)

76(w) x 56(h) cm
30.12(w) x 22.24(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
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Ed Moses (American, 1926 - 2018)

Cho , 2001

76(w) x 56(h) cm
30.12(w) x 22.24(h) inches
Lithograph with torn and deckled edge.

Signed, numbered and embossed on front.
Edition of 50
PRICE
$ 1,930.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Absorbed in the process of making, rather than the end point, paint and imagery were applied in experimental ways with a number of non-traditional tools and techniques, laying his unstretched canvases on the floor and working on several paintings at once. Moses embraced chance and accident as a vital part of his painting practice - pushing these elements to the limit, and continuously changing and developing his styles. In an era that was mostly defined by Pop, Moses saw beyond the latest trends and often found inspiration amongst fellow artists such as Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning; a few of several artist he met in New York and whom prompted him to try out techniques used by the abstract expressionists.

Yet despite these influences, throughout his life Moses never considered himself associated with any one movement of the time. Indeed, over the seven decades of his career, it is clear to see the changes in styles and the continuous flux and development of his work. During the late 1950s, he created aesthetic architectural drawings and used industrial insight for the acclaimed ‘Rose’ drawings, possibly inspired by his part-time job of making mechanical drawings at an aircraft factory while he was a student at UCLA. Ten years later, he embraced polyester resin and created structured geometric patterns with pleasing shiny surfaces - a distinct L.A. and space-age style collectively known as ‘Finish Fetish’ - which again became the basis for a series of works influenced by the zigzag patterns from blankets made by Navaho Indians. By the end of the seventies, Moses was experimenting with materials and techniques, using chalk, asphalt and masking tape on his painting surface, even occasionally applying oil or acrylic from both sides of the canvas with a rag mop. Simply to see what the effects might be.
ED MOSES
Tsohg, 2001

Edition of 50
10 Artist Proof (APs)

76(w) x 56(h) cm
30.12(w) x 22.24(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
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ED MOSES
Tsohg, 2001

Edition of 50
10 Artist Proof (APs)

76(w) x 56(h) cm
30.12(w) x 22.24(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
* Required fields
Ed Moses (American, 1926 - 2018)

Tsohg , 2001

76(w) x 56(h) cm
30.12(w) x 22.24(h) inches
Lithograph with torn and deckled edge.

Signed, numbered and embossed on front.
Edition of 50
PRICE
$ 1,930.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
These unusual methods saw a new and wide-ranging form of abstract paintings coming from his studio up through the eighties and nineties. Some were close to Abstract Cubism, others just elusive in the way “worms” and “spiders” seemingly appeared on the canvas. From a practice originally formed by a systematic procedure, accuracy and defined grids, in the span of forty years Moses had gradually moved to a less controlled and more gestural style of painting, allowing “accidents” to inform his practice and discovering new ways to apply paint to canvas.

Whether it was larger works on wood panels or small editions on paper, Moses approached the creative process the same way. In three lithographic editions from 2001, titled Cho, Tsohg and Frank-Berta, the images were drawn with his fingers on sheets of mylar - a transparent polyester film - which was then transferred to aluminium plates for lithographic printing. The combination of an intuitive creative activity completed into an artwork by the use of a mechanical method was often evident in his practice, and perhaps reinforced by his work experience at the aircraft factory as a student.
ED MOSES
Frank-Berta, 2001

Edition of 50
10 Artist Proof (APs)

91(w) x 68(h) cm
36.02(w) x 26.97(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
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ED MOSES
Frank-Berta, 2001

Edition of 50
10 Artist Proof (APs)

91(w) x 68(h) cm
36.02(w) x 26.97(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
* Required fields
Ed Moses (American, 1926 - 2018)

Frank-Berta , 2001

91(w) x 68(h) cm
36.02(w) x 26.97(h) inches
Lithograph with torn and deckled edge.

Signed, numbered and embossed on front.
Edition of 50
PRICE
$ 2,460.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
The lithographs have the same visceral effect and spontaneous energy of the abstract paintings that Moses was creating in the late nineties. His use of colour is spontaneous and intermittent using only a limited palette that allows the gestural patterns to take hold of the painting. The images feel very personal, though their meaning is intentionally unclear. Cho has the outline of a train, or is the train identifiable because of the title?; Tsohg is ‘ghost’ spelled backwards, a titling first introduced in ’96 with the exhibition ‘Elpoep Ebolg’ (‘Globe People’); and in Frank-Berta, Moses proposes an abstract interpretation of the modern family portrait, here of his close friend, the famous American architect Frank Gehry, next to his wife Berta and their four children. While a subject may be implied by the shapes being formed, or even from the way he titles the work, as with all Moses works, the subject and object of his works lies in his process.

To the artist the finished artwork was never the goal, it was the path to get there that was his thing. Throughout the decades, the one constant in his work was Moses’ obsession with process, and his drive to constantly explore and discover.

Spanning seven decades, Ed Moses received national and international recognition for his abstract works during his career. In 1980, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for his series of early ‘Rose’ paintings, as well as the ‘Resin’-series inspired by Navaho blankets and the ‘TRAC’-series that followed in the mid-seventies. The major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles, in ’96, testify to Moses’ substantial contribution to the arts; exhibiting sixty works created over half a decade and representing most of his significant series. Today, his works can be found in a majority of public collections, including Musee National d'Art Moderne in Paris, MoCA in Los Angeles, and MoMA and The Whitney Museum in New York. Ed Moses passed away at the age of 91, and active right through his later years, he continued to paint every day, leaving a record of his life as he experienced it: a constant journey of exploration.

The lithographic editions, Cho, Tsohg and Frank-Berta, show Ed Moses’ freer and more instinctual approach to painting, a style he developed in the nineties. Printed as lithographs on BFK Rives Crème paper, with Cho and Frank-Berta distinctively rubberstamped with a red-hot firecracker, each edition of 50 is presented with torn and deckled edges, and signed and numbered on front. The works on paper were released exclusively by Eyestorm in 2001 in collaboration with Ed Moses.

To view the print edition in further detail and to find more information about available works by Ed Moses, visit the artist’s page here.
 
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