As a painter, Ron Moppett is known as a brilliant colourist and highly intellectual painter, one that approaches painting as a series of propositions. Drawing inspiration from diverse sources in history, cultural styles and popular culture, the puzzle like components of Moppett’s works are conversational gambits, each part contributing multiple connotations towards the whole. To pose existential questions about who he is and who we are, Moppett develops a visual vocabulary with a treasury of idioms about childhood, sexuality, working, aging, and mortality. To this he adds references to a sense of place, to relationships with history, culture, and landscape. The meaning of the iconography shifts according to its context, specific style, and treatment in each work.
Sculptur(al) focuses on those works where Moppett blurs the distinction between painting and sculpture and underscores the physical or “real” presence of the painting as an object. Employing a multi-paneled structure first adopted from British painter Francis Bacon in the early 1970s, Moppett has continued to evolve the gambit, often joining two, three, four or six panels to sequence and unify disparate elements. This exhibition revisits Moppett’s work in a retrospective sweep, yet through a lens that looks not only to the conversations hidden in his private lexicon of painted images but also to foreground the commanding role of sculpture throughout his career.
Organized by Nickle Galleries, curated by Christine Sowiak with catalogue essay by Victoria Baster.