Joan Moment was born in 1938 in Sellersville, Pennsylvania and grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1960, she earned a B.S. and R.N. at the University of Connecticut and Yale Medical Center. After a three-year stint as an R.N., she moved to Colorado where she studied painting and drawing, earning an M.F.A. at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1970. Later that year, she joined the California State University art faculty, teaching there for 35 years, and is now Professor Emeritus of Painting. Moment maintained a studio in New York City for 11 years, painting and guest teaching at Princeton University, Bard College, Syracuse University, Wake Forest University and others. Moment’s work was shown in New York at the Whitney Biennial in 1973 and a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1974.
Her work is in numerous public and private collections, and has been widely shown in museums and galleries in the U.S., Brazil and China. They include the Whitney Museum of American Art; Oakland Museum of Art; San Jose Museum of Art; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.; CU Art Museum, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.; China Academy of Arts, Hangzhou, China and many more. Her most recent public art commission is a 12-x 18-foot glass tesserae mosaic installed in 2011 at the Sacramento International Airport.
Moment has distinguished herself as an innovative process painter whose abstract works are inspired by nature’s transformative energies. In her current series, Waves and Constellations, the artist combines aerial views of geological formations, ocean surfaces and interstellar space. She does this by applying multiple layers of thin paint, which she pours, drags, dissolves and scrapes across the canvas. Onto the luminescent grounds that result from this process, she imprints geometric forms, yielding telescopic visions of deep space, aerial visions of the Earth and, quite often, ambiguous combinations of the two.
The artist “has intuited and internalized the essential unity of consciousness and its objects, realizing in full, the capacity of paint to evoke and embody this unity. Her paintings call forth an almost endless chain of natural metaphors. The physical operation of the paint, for example, which the artist encourages to puddle and pond into eddies, rivulets and lakes, is enough on its own to evoke this force. It doesn’t posture or pretend, it just does what paint does by virtue of Moment’s ability to marshal its natural inclinations to her own ends.” — David Olivant in Squarecylinder, September 2009.
“The rhythms in even the simplest of her paintings are eccentric and spontaneous, reflecting nature as it accommodates rather than resists accident. The complexity of nature – what so often seems to us as chaos – inspires Moment far more than does its dependability.”
– Peter Frank from a catalog essay for Joan Moment’s 11-year survey (1993-2003) at the Huntington Beach Art Center.
Joan Moment lives and works in Sacramento, California.
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Categories: acrylic, Artists, painting
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