Diana Moore:  “The Exploration of The Body:  The Figure, The Vessel, The Purse”
November 19 – December 31, 2004
Reception, Friday, November 19, 6:00-8:00pm

Forum Gallery
8069 Beverly Blvd. (at Crescent Heights Blvd.), Los Angeles, California 90046
Contact: Niccolò Brooker
Telephone: (323) 655-1550, Fax: (323) 655-1565
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Diana Moore, “Figure with Cap”, 2003, carbon steel, 47 x 17 x 10 inches.

Los Angeles, CA - Forum Gallery will present its first West Coast exhibition of the sculpture by the American artist, Diana Moore.  Moore has created life-size figures, modern torsos, anthropomorphic urns and fanciful purses in cast carbon steel and bronze to probe the concept of the female figure as vessel.  These works, startlingly original but influenced by African, Asian, and Greek figures, come from Moore’s desire for perfection of form not constrained by the human image.  Her artistic vision offers a reflective, introspective quality while demonstrating a unique sense of strength and fullness.

Moore’s torsos are outlined forms, containers that are filled by the gaze of the viewer. Simultaneously empty and full, they are figures that engage in silent dialogue, forming a bridge between the life-size figures and the true containers in the exhibition.  They are possessed of an extraordinary clarity of form that carries their expressiveness.  

The engaging bronze maquettes for monumental vessels are reminiscent of ancient cylix and amphora containers.  These urns are exaggerated and adapted, but convey a sense of mass.  The forms are bursting, as though inflated to over-capacity, but they have a delicate refinement of surface imagery that serves to decode. Moore’s decoration is her own invention and conveys a magical vitality.  

Throughout modern history, purses have been used as fashion statements, indicia of luxury and containers of fashion and sexual accessories. Though inspired by ancient vessels, they are decidedly modern.  Diana Moore has invented, and then cast these objects in bold carbon steel, presenting them as closed containers that can be opened.  For contemporary women, the handbag is a private place. These purses publicly represent richness and bounty, like a female version of the phallic cornucopia. They also represent an inheritance of tangible things, values and cultural history.  

All of Diana Moore’s vessels are related to storage containers from ancient times and other cultures.  Vessels holding life-sustaining matter, like seeds and grains; vessels for holding salve ointments, oils and perfumes, for enhancing the body and replenishing the soul. They resemble reliquaries, vessels for preserving the body parts of cherished holy people.  Their association with archeological artifacts is very strong, suggested through the material, form and motifs.  

Diana Moore was born in 1946 in Norfolk, Virginia.  She studied at Northern Illinois University (De Kalb, IL) and the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA).  Diana Moore has completed three major federal commissions for the General Services Administration Art in Architecture program, and received the GSA Design Award for Sculpture for all three of these projects.  Her work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC), Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (New York) and JP Morgan Chase (New York).  

Diana Moore: The Exploration of the Body: The Figure, The Vessel, The Purse opens with a reception on November 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and will be on view through December 31, 2004.  A full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

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