marianne boesky gallery

DONALD MOFFETT: THE EXTRAVAGANT VEIN

February 14 – March 22, 2003
CHELSEA | 535 West 22nd Street

Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Donald Moffett. Structurally, "The Extravagant Vein" further develops the experimental paintings presented in "What Barbara Jordan Wore" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, 2002.

A description of the works in "The Extravagant Vein" starts with two simple facts: they are very close to monochrome paintings, and they are very close to landscape paintings. The art of painting has always been about a surface that records, reflects, and captures light in a specific way. In Moffett's new works, he takes up the paradigm of lighting paintings and considers the possibilities for meaning that can be attached to that light. Specifically, these golden canvases are lit with projections of edited and looped video images depicting a collection of moments and locations within the Rambles of New York's Central Park.

The Rambles is an "extravagant vein" of wooded Byzantine paths in the heart of the city and in the heart of Central Park. It is a public space but filled with private enclaves renowned for world-class bird watching and for over a hundred years where men meet men. As Moffett presents collected landscapes from this place, the canvases become a repository of multiple images – painting as "screen" – as opposed to the historical and expository painting as "window". Not necessarily objective, as landscape paintings rarely are, Moffett contemplates this world within a world.

Also on view will be a 2001 drawing project called "Mr. Gay in the USA." This suite of courtroom drawings is a subjective take on the sentencing of Ronald Gay, a Vietnam veteran who walked into a gay bar in Roanoke, Virginia and opened fire. Mr. Gay killed one person and wounded six others. He rationalized his violence as an act against defilers of his good name. Moffett completed a rapid succession of drawings as an anonymous courtroom observer while witnessing the testimonies of survivors and the sentencing of Mr. Gay. This project was exhibited first at Anthony Meier Fine Arts in San Francisco, 2001.

Marianne Boesky Gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm. Please call 212-680-9889 for further information.