AN HISTORIC OVERVIEW OF THE HUMAN CONDITION

Kenna Moser, Observe at Grover Thurston Gallery

Kenna Moser performs a whimsical play with stamps, botanical drawings, postmarks, precise and studied handwritten names and addresses, and collage paintings of diminutive people cut out of old dictionaries They come together to say something about the essence of human endeavor: we strive for the same things, we play the same way, we make the same mistakes, we are guilty of the same follies, we love the same things through the ages. Like a lost letter that arrives at its destination one hundred years later, her small juxtapositions of imagery buried in encaustic, are a surprise and a delight.   Each is an intimate reward for the viewer’s attention, not intended to be monumental, but rather very personal, perhaps like a confession to a dear friend or a narrative of everyday life from a distant relative. Moser works on top of small wooden box forms that give her paintings a sculptural dimension and the sense of containing artifacts as much as being art.  A short story, a few precious antiques, small, collaged historical elements and detailed botanical paintings executed by the artist herself, all are embedded in the carefully prepared wax environment that makes each jewel-like work seem a glimpse into history.

Feat by Kenna Moser

It helps to know the titles.  To some of these tiny narratives we will say, “How true!” Others will make as laugh as we discover visual puns and silly connections between names and objects.  Observe features a tiny woman in a diving posture that, when attached to a bright orange nasturtium, makes her appear to be hang-gliding.  In Feat, we see a tiny track and field competitor leaping feet first over a large hydrangea-like blossom.  Direct shows a small figure conducting life’s symphony with an enormous green fern. Life‘s challenges and vicissitudes go on.

Enrich by Kenna Moser

Kenna Moser used to live in Palo Alto, as ARTSHIFT readers will recall, and in 2004 she moved to the Pacific Northwest. She now creates her meticulous little miracles in a studio on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound.  She is represented by the Gail Severn Gallery in Idaho and the Sue Greenwood Gallery in Laguna Beach, California as well Seattle’s Grover Thurston Gallery where her work was featured in the month of May.  The works can still be viewed in the Grover Thurston Gallery through June, 2011.

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