October 1 - November 10, 1991
Let's begin by way of an oversimplification: David Moreno's paintings are what they are about and are about what they are. In his variously scaled works there is a direct link between the physically disrupted, corrupted surface and a form of meaning that is essentially biological. Moreno fuses "pure" abstract painting, illusionistic imagery and a conceptually coded language onto a single surface. Despite his obvious technical expertise as a painter, a modest reticence prevails where a bravura flash might attract more attention. The paintings are clearly hand-made, sometimes roughly textured, with elements purposefully off balance, but Moreno has no desire to revel in mere human emotion or in any grand existential plea via his gesture, nor does he presume that painting can ever parallel some imagined universal perfection. David Moreno is a master of the studied understatement. His paintings do not clamor, shout or beg for our attention - they earn it with a convincing blend of wit, craft, and metaphorical allusion. At a casual glance, several of his works could be mistaken for color field paintings from forty years ago or minimalist works from more recent years, recycled in keeping with current appropriationist practice. On closer examination the subtle and quiet surfaces of his paintings appear porous, teeming with life beneath thin translucent skins.