Kathy Moss

Gallery Walk March 10th, 5-8pm  • Artist Chat March 11th, 10am


My goal is to make beauty. The impetus to make paintings is motivated in part by my desire to the express the inexpressible: the inescapable dualities of existence. 


I use botanicals as archetypes in my work.  I was aware of the suggestiveness of, and psychological meaning attached to some flowers. They are ambiguous, mysterious, a way to get to the paint. and in large scale represent heads, beats, landscape. I use these objects as subject matter, in silhouette. I also refer to my imagery as ‘girlie’ as the motifs and even mere suggestions of flowers and hearts are usually associated with being female, and feminine. My work addresses issues of power, solipsism, hierarchies by presenting imaginary orders, arrangements that would not occur in the natural world; I am working in response to and partly inspired by both external and internal chaos.  I have turned them- flowers, seed pods, skeletons of pine cones, thistles into icons. The motifs are beards; their arrangement a poetic depiction of the internal self.

Influenced by work as a surface designer I have come to see repetition as a type of abstract structure; one which infers less linear narrative even as a narrative is added by the inferred denial of it. I imply pattern as a way of giving meaning- suggesting a rhythm, and then breaking that rhythm. I am interested in the edge, dark on light, and its stark effect of push and pull, the situation of figure on ground. Color is subtle, implicitly referential. The paintings are formal in orientation. I think of my work as situational haiku: a rare, tightly held moment. Ultimately the works must succeed formally, hold the surface, have a discreet narrative, and be beautiful.


The work has evolved over the last twenty years into a personal iconography, a world of glistening, minimalist surfaces, with floating objects employed as signs. The paintings play with bridging the two worlds of the conceptual and the representative, delicate, minimal amounts of paint oozing and floating on the muscular chalk and oil surface while the subject matter exists in deep space. I am making a beautiful image and simultaneously commenting on the nature of paint and the act of making. This is, in part, the text and the subtext of my work.