"Moore at Locks" by Edith Newhall
John Moore is an acclaimed contemporary realist painter whose work explores studio interiors, urban architecture, and in his most celebrated work, the post-industrial landscape. While his paintings evoke a sense of realism, Moore’s masterful surfaces upon close inspection do not concede to the rigid glossy façade of photorealism, instead maintaining a uniquely felt touch. Using a variety of detailed brushwork, the surfaces are built up in luminous layers of contrasting hues. The scenes presented in his work further subvert true realism, though based off of en plein air sketches, photographs, and observational study in his studio. Moore re-imagines each perspective by combining disparate elements from his observations of various sites, re-rendering architecture and the landscape to suit his sophisticated compositions.
After his early explorations of interior architecture and still lifes, he expanded his subject matter to cityscapes. In the 1980s, he first visited Coatesville, Pennsylvania, revisiting the steel mills where Ralston Crawford, Charles Demuth and fellow Precisionist painters had worked. For the subsequent decades, Moore would further their legacy with his unique New Realist perspective, painting Coatesville and other post-industrial sites like that of Frankford, Philadelphia, where his studio is based. Moore continues to revisit sites and expand his gaze to new ones, exploring the lifespan of American industry and architecture through his meditative and luminous paintings.
Moore is also an honored educator; as the former Gutman Professor of Fine Arts in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, he was the chair of the department for ten years. He previously headed the graduate painting program at Boston University, and taught at the Tyler School of Art of Temple University and the University of California, Berkeley. At Washington University he completed his BFA and went on to receive an MFA from Yale University. Moore was elected to the National Academy of Design and has been honored several times by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His paintings are included in major collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and many others. The artist has exhibited with the gallery since 1976.