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Skidmore College

Tang Opener Series welcomes painter Carrie Moyer

February 1, 2013

A new exhibition of works by Carrie Moyer at the Tang Museum features paintings that boldly combine abstraction, political imagery, and unapologetic visual pleasure. Influenced by her background in graphic design and feminism, Moyer’s paintings intricately interweave concept, research, and experience.

Opener 24 Carrie Moyer: Pirate Jenny, which runs through May 19, is part of the Tang’s Opener Series, designed to introduce artists and recent work to the region.The show features paintings and prints from the past six years, most made specifically for this exhibition.

"Hook, Line & Sinker" (2012), acrylic, graphite, glitter on canvas
Hook, Line & Sinker (2012), acrylic,
graphite, and glitter on canvas

“Carrie Moyer makes fantastic abstract paintings that are very smart,” says Tang Dayton Director Ian Berry, who curated the show with the artist.  “They are loaded with rich historical and stylistic references.” Moyer’s work includes elements and influences ranging from Color Field, Social Realist, and Surrealist paintings, to Native American sources and the works of Georgia O’Keefe, to 1960s and ’70s counterculture graphics and 1970s feminist art, to bodily and biomorphic forms.

As the artist explains, “My paintings may have become less overt but my ambition to seduce viewers into reflecting on their own conditions—optical, physical, historical and otherwise—remains undiminished. Painting is a very intimate delivery system.” She has described her painting process as “a kind of performance”—often working on the floor, pouring, rolling, stippling, mopping, and hand-working the paint, as well as adding sections of glitter.

Berry notes that this kind of work has broad appeal, both to other artists and the general public. As Cate McQuaid wrote in the Boston Globe (April 24, 2012) about Moyer’ show at the Worcester Art Museum: “Don’t worry about not getting Carrie Moyer’s paintings. Moyer’s paintings get you. … They undulate, simmer, and glow; they seem to inhale and pull you in. They are gorgeous.”

A painter, designer, and writer, Moyer earned a BFA in painting in 1985 from Pratt Institute in New York City, where she continues to live and work. After graduating, she put her art to work in activism for such groups as ACT UP, Queer Nation, and DYKE ACTION MACHINE! (DAM!), which she co-founded with Sue Schaffner in 1991. She went on to earn an MA in computer graphic design from the New York Institute of Technology, studied painting at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and later received an MFA in painting from Bard College.

Moyer is currently an associate professor of art at Hunter College and writes for such publications as Art in America, Brooklyn Rail, Artforum, and Modern Painters. Her many awards and grants include a 2011 residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs.

Special Tang events related to Opener 24 Carrie Moyer: Pirate Jenny include a curator’s tour on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at noon and a Dunkerley Dialogue with Moyer on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 5:15 p.m.

Current shows at the Tang Museum also include Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent; Elevator Music 24–Yoko Ono: Listen; and Paul Shambroom: Meetings, a collection of photographs shown in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition We the People.

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