Donald Moffett

Science and art are estranged. It is an unhappy estrangement, as most are. Repair is possible. Essential, even.

New York-based artist Donald Moffett (b. 1955) emerged as both an artist and activist in the late 1980s, participating in the Act Up movement and as a founding member of the Gran Fury Collective. Dedicated to abstraction and the monochrome, Moffett challenges the traditional flat frame through non-traditional painting techniques, employing a private language of form that serves as a carrier for both personal and political meaning. Moffett often treats the canvas as a surrogate for the body, creating orifices by cutting and flaying or perforating the canvas. The resulting compositions are provocative and poetic, hinting at playfulness, all the while serving as an implicit form of social critique.

Moffett’s work is included in several permanent institutional collections such as the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Menil Collection, Houston, TX; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Moffett has had solo exhibitions across the United States at Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, TX (2014 and 2016); the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX (2015); the Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH (2012); Anthony Meier Fine Art, San Francisco, CA (2011); and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (2011), which traveled to the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, among others. His work has been included in major group shows such as Greater New York (2015) at MoMA PS1, New York, NY; America is Hard to See (2015) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and  ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting (2013) at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston, MA. The artist currently lives and works in New York City. (Photo credit: Gayle Brown)