LewAllen Galleries has featured Forrest Moses in solo exhibitions about 10 times over the past decade, and gallery officials cherish their fruitful relationship. There’s just something about his oil and monotype landscapes that continues to fascinate LewAllen and its patrons—maybe it’s the harmony of colors Moses uses to evoke the flux of nature, or the intimate and even secret perspectives he offers to viewers. He continues to develop these motifs in his new exhibition, The Monotypes: Reflections of a Painter.
The monotype medium lends itself to many of the natural themes that Moses has embraced over his 60-plus-year career. Monotypes are made by painting an image on a plate that is then transferred to paper through a press. Only one print can be made from each plate, meaning that the impression the artist creates is a one-time deal; corrections or revisions are impossible without redoing the whole piece, and as such, every print is unique. Likewise, Moses' work carries an underlying belief in the uniqueness of each moment spent in nature. Every instant of natural observation is different from the next, and he communicates this by carefully evoking the things that stand out most in a given moment—for example, the dominant form in these prints are the trees, surrounded by flurries of contrasting light and shade. What impresses the viewer is not the particular colors or shapes, but the harmony of an abstract whole that gently leads one to deeper contemplations on the patterns of the natural world.
Contrasted with his oil paintings, the monotypes are more expressive and loose while working within the same motifs. Moses is the only one who shows monotypes at LewAllen, and they've been working up to this exhibition for a few years to impress with his best. Something more painterly and gestural thrives here, communicating a spontaneity that's difficult to achieve in oil. LewAllen welcomes the dedicated following Moses has gained through his paintings in the hopes that longtime fans will delight in something new while offering newcomers a deep and intuitive introduction to his work.
Forrest Moses: The Monotypes:
5-7 pm Friday, Jan. 29. Free.
1613 Paseo de Peralta