“I have a longing for a certain beauty that’s hard to describe, but it’s usually associated with summer colors. My desire for this summertime feeling seems inexhaustible, and though I’ve been trying for many years, I don’t feel like I am ever really satisfied.”
- Kurt Moyer
For over a decade, Kurt Moyer’s work has combined his love of nature with his reverence for art history. Born in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Moyer spent much of his youth exploring the Barnes Collection in Merion, Pennsylvania. Moyer now resides in rural New York near Rochester where he spends his time plein air painting from the beginning of spring until late fall. These passions converge in Moyer’s new abstract paintings on view at Gross McCleaf.
While Moyer enjoys and finds inspiration from painting in nature, his abstract works are created in the studio, away from visual reference. As a result, Moyer has shifted away from representation in search of a way to create paintings with a purity of expression and form. A memory or feeling might spark the idea for a painting, but as the marks and colors are placed on the canvas, the artwork takes over. Moyer then follows the cues found within the painting’s form to complete the work. He describes the symbiotic relationship that he seeks within the color relationships as the appearance of “giving and receiving light”. Referring to the illusory phenomena of the natural world, Moyer’s works capture summer sunlight and wayward beams in a way that goes beyond the established aspects of painting to convey a transcendent or even sublime experience.
The influence of art history is easy to spot in the entirety of Moyer’s oeuvre. For many years, Cezanne’s Bathers were a primary source of inspiration. While you may still envision a glistening stream within the potpourri of chromatic paint strokes, perhaps a love of Monet’s water lilies has now risen to the surface. Some of the works are monumental in scale, allowing the viewer to be immersed within the seductive treatment of paint and canvas.
In the end, Moyer’s concerns stretch beyond the historical art references, personal memories, and formal concerns. Instead, Moyer hopes that his paintings are a “vehicle for transcendence”, both for himself and for the viewer. Returning to Cezanne, Moyer connects to the quote, “Art is a harmony parallel to nature,” and it is clear by these new works that Moyer seeks that ideal.
Kurt Moyer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking from Kutztown University in 1999. He has since exhibited his work in numerous regional and group exhibitions as well as solo shows at the Warm Springs Gallery in Charlottesville, VA and the Gross McCleaf Gallery - where he is represented. Moyer has taught landscape painting classes in Italy at the prestigious Jerusalem Studio School in Civita. The artist lives and works in Pittsford, New York.