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Frank Moore - Exhibitions - Sperone Westwater

Free For All, 1997-98

Press Release

Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Frank Moore.

Moore's ten new paintings from 1997 and 1998 featured in this show depict characteristically American vernacular imagery such as the bald eagle, the buffalo, the bear, and the American flag. These images are layered with meanings, referencing myths, fairy tales, American history, and art history. The concern with health care issues and the environment apparent in earlier work is still in evidence here but Moore's perspective seems softer and more distanced.

The distinctive precision of drawing and preference for intense colors are maintained in these new works to support a surreal component which together with influences from other sources such as American realism, folk and commercial art define Moore's elaborate and rich painting idiom. In Lullaby and Lullaby II (both 1997), for instance, the human microcosm meets the natural macrocosm through a shift of scale. The intimacy and warmth of a carefully rendered bed, its wrinkled white sheets and pillows become vast landscapes inhabited by pasturing bison or wandering polar bears with their prey.

As in Moore's earlier work, the frames are made by the artist himself and become part of the work as a witty commentary or an objectification of the subject matter presented in each painting. In Free for All (1997) a surveillance system which has been encased in a red pine frame has direct link to the images of a flying bald eagle and of the familiar electronic appliances depicted within the same picture. In the mythologically inspired work To Die For (1997), instead, the artist has reinforced the meaning of the figure of the Medusa's head with a mirror frame.

A catalogue with twenty full-page color reproductions accompanies the exhibition.