New York, Sunday, April 10, 1994
critics have called Moser a major artist, comparing his work to
that of Goya and Francis Bacon and the masters of the Renaissance.
He has exhibited his paintings - which combine elements of Classical
composition with Expressionism - throughout the United States
and has traveled worldwide.
the artist has returned to where it all began, where he was born,
grew up and put brush to canvas. Moser is back in Scarsdale, he
said, to retrace the tracks and trails I took as a child
and to work on his most ambitious series of paintings.
one embarks on a significant journey, it is wise to return to
the beginning, to understand your strengths and weaknesses,
he said. This provides surer footing along the way and in
turn changes stumbling blocks to stepping stones.
roots to his hometown run deep. His mother, Margaret, and his
father, Carl, still live in Scarsdale. Some of Mrs. Mosers
ancestors settled there in the 1800s and became prominent
citizens; one of his great-great-great aunts, Anna McNeill Whistler,
also lived there and was the mother of James McNeill Whistler.
Mr. Mosers parents lived there, too, on Thornbury Road.
Indeed, it was Frieda, Mosers maternal grandmother,
who may have been the biggest influence on the artist. Although
she died at 93 last Nov. 2, - All Souls Day,
Moser observed - she remains a major presence in his esthetic
and psychological life. It is her face that appears in a powerful,
allegorical painting, There Was No Grass on the Other Side,
which some critics have called his masterpiece, and it is her
spirit that informs much of his work.
grandmother had eyes that danced, he recalled. She
was creative, perceptive, whimsical, witty. She saw the dark side,
the sad side, of life, but she also brought a light to things
that I try to capture in my paintings; we were, I think, kindred
began painting as a child - his grandmother Frieda and his parents
encouraged his efforts from the start - and when he was 10, started
studying with the Pop artist Robert Indiana in the Scarsdale Studio
Workshop. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, he went
to Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and the Croydon College
of Art in London.
the early 1980s, while living in Manhattan, he started working
in Art Deco, a style he would later reject. His precisely rendered
paintings and prints won him widespread critical acclaim and financial
backing. In 1984, his first solo exhibition at the Dyansen Gallery
in Manhattan was sold out before it officially opened, establishing
an immediate waiting list for all future works.
to Start Over
of reveling in his success, however, he began to feel confined
by it, to feel trapped by demands to keep turning out paintings
he no longer felt came from within. My agents and promoters
were grooming me to be the next Erté, he said, referring
to the Russian-born master of Art Deco, who died in 1990 at age
97. I was making lots of money, I was being squired around
in limousines in New York, being flown to LA, going to parties
with celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson. But
I wasnt being true to myself as an artist or as a person.
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