Artist Sam Moyer brings a body of new works to bear on Kayne Griffin Corcoran this month, continuing her investigations into scale, balance, and weight, with particular attention to the physical experience of space and the effects of natural light.
The works on view mark an extension of a group of intimately scaled pieces Moyer produced under the limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic, and were created with the the gallery’s exhibition spaces in mind, scaled up to emphasize inherent conflicts in their scale and materiality through arrangements of stone, marble, and slate within expanses of painted plaster or, in some cases, merely balanced precariously atop. The work seems to defy the laws of physic, or break from the confines of a frame, giving these hulking slabs of material a strangely evocative and urgent quality.
Moyer has been sourcing stone remnants from quarries and salvage yards since 2014, and her use of this scrap serves as a fitting exploration of both geologic time and human labor, which, by extension, takes on explorations of human history. Sliced and polished into a gleaming countertop or cut into roof tiles, rock is made to serve a domestic and architectural purpose, yet here is presented in its abstraction from that same functionality, afforded a new life by Moyer’s hand. The natural light that filters into the gallery space at Kayne Griffin activates the dappled surfaces of the painted plaster, which range from opaque to semitransparent, while the stone inlays reflect or absorb illumination. Moyer’s Dependents sculptures span the indoor gallery and the courtyard, casting shadows of their own.
Moyer’s interest in perception and phenomenology evokes the interests of the West Coast Light and Space movement, yet takes these materialities in towards a strikingly opposed school of 70’s art, embracing tenants of land artists and sculptural inventors like Robert Smithson. Investigating balance and space against the backdrop of geologic time, Moyer’s work allows a considered exploration of both simultaneously.
– D. Creahan
Sam Moyer: Good Friend [Exhibition Site]