Sam Moyer “Tone”

Sean Kelly Gallery

poster for Sam Moyer “Tone”
[Image: Sam Moyer "Daisy Chain" (2021) Marble, acrylic on plaster-coated canvas mounted to MDF 53 1/2 x 38 1/2 x 2 in.]
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Sean Kelly Gallery presents Tone, Sam Moyer’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. This new body of work, featuring a series of intimately scaled paintings and sculptures, is focused on connection, contemplation, and exploring the boundaries of the relationship between maker and material.

Created partly in response to her major installation Doors for Doris (currently on view at the entrance to Central Park on the Doris C. Freedman Plaza), Moyer’s new paintings and sculptures represent a reaction to that work’s monumentality and relate directly to the proportions of the body, with a heightened sense of the corporeal. Due to limitations and constraints imposed by the pandemic, these new works, fabricated in Moyer’s studio, focus on a more intimate scale. Reflecting on the title, she observes, “I liked the flexibility of the word tone, it’s light, it’s color, it’s mood. In the early days of the pandemic in the city, there was a tone. It was so quiet…it was the tone that we couldn’t break away from, sort of the intangible experience we all shared.”

Known for a unique artistic vocabulary in which stone and canvas, painting and sculpture are employed to create powerfully expressive works, Moyer considers her new wall-mounted pieces to be emphatically about qualities of painting, surface light, and layers. The new works bring in a plaster component that references the historic surface of fresco while simultaneously representing construction and stucco, the bridge of materials between the industrial and art. Still incorporating stone remnants as an integral part of the composition, the paintings’ surfaces are more intimate, rich, complex and painterly. Building layers with hand-applied plaster, Moyer creates richly nuanced surfaces, thickly impastoed in certain areas, smooth and glossy in others. Moyer relates her creative process to “going with the flow,” a journey of acceptance and moving forward. Taking inspiration from external stimuli—the materials she uses and the space between herself and the world—Moyer follows an instinctual guiding force. She states, “It’s a relaxation into the given path, but that doesn’t eliminate the pain of the terrain.” With these new works, Moyer delves deep to create paintings that reflect a very personal process.

The sculptures on view in the front gallery, each composed of joined panels held together by tension visually mirror the act of codependency. The works serve as both complement and counterpoint to the paintings in the main gallery. Juxtaposing forms that alternate between the biomorphic and geometric, they are composed of soapstone remnants from the artist’s home and aggregate concrete (similar to terrazzo), partnered with hand-poured concrete segments. The exposed concrete joints reveal an assemblage of stones gathered from beaches along the Long Island Sound. Sandblasted to echo found fragments of sea wall near the artist’s home, the markings emphasize the passage of time represented through erosion.

Sam Moyer’s first solo public art installation, Doors for Doris, commissioned by Public Art Fund, is on view at the entrance to Central Park on Doris C. Freedman Plaza through September 12, 2021. Her works are featured in prominent public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; the Morgan Library, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris; The Aïshti Foundation, Beirut; and the Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Massachusetts. Moyer has exhibited her work at The Drawing Center, New York; The Bass Museum, Miami, FL; University of Albany Art Museum, New York; The Public Art Fund, New York; White Flag Projects and The Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; LAND, Los Angeles; and Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm. Moyer has participated in important group exhibitions, including Inherent Structure, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Painting/Object, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY; and Greater New York Between Spaces at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens. In 2018 she was the subject of a large-scale solo presentation at Art Basel Unlimited.



from March 12, 2021 to April 24, 2021


Sam Moyer

Website (venue's website)



Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Sundays
Note:saturdays openinghour 10:00, saturdays closinghour 18:00


Address: 475 10th Ave., New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212-239-1181 Fax: 212-239-2467

Between 36th and 37th Sts. Subway: A/C/E to Penn Station 34th Street

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