This exhibition represents a small portion of the vast body of creative work by the late Berkeley-based artist and teacher Frank Moore (1946–2013). Over the course of more than five decades, Moore, who was born with a physical disability, used painting, performance, public access television, and an extensive writing practice to explore the unlimited capacity for humans to connect.
The impetus for this exhibition was BAMPFA’s recent acquisition of two of Moore’s paintings: Mariah (1977) and Patti Smith (1979). Guest curators Vincent Fecteau and Keith Wilson chose to focus on Moore’s lesser-known contribution to painting to create an access point to his large and complex archive (housed at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library). Painting, a distinctly physical medium, affords the opportunity to contemplate essential questions that all of Moore’s work proposes about our bodies in relationship not only to objects and materials (canvas, paint, a computer keyboard), but also to each other as subjects and viewers, artists, and models.
The exhibition includes twenty-nine of Moore’s works on canvas hung on two of the gallery’s walls. Playing on a monitor is the video Let Me Be Frank to contextualize the paintings within Moore’s larger artistic and social practice. Engaging the Berkeley community and the art community at large with Moore’s exuberant, confrontational, and at times, discomforting art, the exhibition encourages deeper, embodied connections in a world of increasing fragmentation and isolation.
Of related interest, selected papers from the Frank Moore Archive will be on display in the exhibit cases on the 3rd floor at The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, Feb. 1–April 21.