donald moffett

20 October 2000 - 25 November 2000
Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present new work by New York based artist Donald Moffett.

Moffett, who coined the phrase "trans-disciplinary", works across categories and media. In the late 1980's, Moffett was a founding member of the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury. In 1989, he co-founded Bureau, a studio involved in design and social evolution. His art has always been built on an armature of political predicaments and social observations. Mores, codes and prejudices are often the raw material of his work.

Moffett's new project centres on ten traditionally constructed oil paintings called The Incremental Commandments. Conceptually, Moffett is interested in the fundamental text of western law (the Ten Commandments), with its credential of divine revelation, that for centuries has been fettered to theological pile up. Through the metaphor of his paintings, Moffett questions how this history of extrapolations on ‘God's Word' informs the dynamics of contemporary sociology, religion and politics (and its resultant criminalisations). The paintings appear rationally constructed, precise, even modernist in form. The paint is dense, deep and extruded. It is built into a complicated surface that entraps and deadens a maximum amount of light. The result is a profound darkness in almost all of these paintings.

The intermittent score is an improvisation with interludes of Le Freak by Chic, a late 1970's disco anthem, played on the great organ at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.

This is Donald Moffett's first solo exhibition in Europe. He recently exhibited in Power Up at UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2000) and Dope at American Fine Arts, New York (1999/2000). He recently had a solo exhibition at Marc Foxx in Los Angeles. Moffett has also shown at Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland (1998). He will have a one person exhibition next year at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.