Donald Moffett

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Lot 010212 (the double hazard), oil on linen with wood panel support, concrete statuary, wood timbers, acrylic paint on burlap, gaffers tape, wire, steel I beam, hardware (69 x 87 x 57 inches)
Lot 122811 (the double extension), oil on linen with wood panel support, w/cast iron flanges, common black pipe, hardware (21 x 17 x 21 inches)

Donald Moffett (born January 20, 1955) is an American painter.

Life and work[edit]

Moffett was born in San Antonio, Texas, where he studied art and biology at Trinity University, earning a BA.[1] He lives and works in New York City.[1]

As a painter, Moffett extends the traditional two-dimensional frame through non-traditional techniques such as prying open the canvas to paint the backside, perforating or suturing the painting’s surface, or loading it with paint forced into extreme textures. At other times, he transposes paintings into screens by incorporating video projections onto the canvas.[2][3][4][5]

The subject matter of his paintings—from landscape and nature to politics and history—are poetic, provocative, and at times humorous.[6][7] Moffett is recognized for his keen artistic critique of the world at large. His influence by classical painters such as Goya and Manet is manifest in his blending of the subtle with the outlandish and structural experimentation with social critique. While his artwork provides contemporary views on important topics of our modern-day lives, it is also a meditation on the timeless and universal issues of love, loss, alienation, and death.[8][9]

Moffett is a founding member of Gran Fury, the artistic arm of the AIDS activist group ACT UP.[10][11] On May 20, 2011, Gran Fury received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.[12]

Moffett is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York,[13] and Anthony Meier Fine Arts in San Francisco.[14]

Selected catalogues and publications[edit]

  • Strange Ways: Here We Come. Donald Moffett & Felix Gonzalez Torres. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Fine Arts Gallery (1990).
  • The Inward Eye: Transcendence in Contemporary Art. Houston: Contemporary Arts Museum (2002).[15]
  • Donald Moffett: What Barbara Jordan Wore. Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art (2002).[16]
  • Image Stream. Columbus, OH: Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University (2003).[17]
  • Festschrift: Selections from a Collection. Hartford, CT: Leo Press (2008).
  • The Judith Rothschild Foundation Catalogue Raisonné. New York: The Museum of Modern Art (2009).[18]
  • Everywhere. Sexual Diversity Policies in Art. Santiago de Compostela, Spain: Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (2009).
  • Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein. Houston: Contemporary Arts Museum (2011).[19]
  • Donald Moffett: The Radiant Future, Exhibition Catalogue. Columbus, OH: Columbus College of Art and Design (2012).[20]


Writings and interviews[edit]

  • Moffett, Donald. “Sex with Sheila Hicks.” Art in America, Nov. 30, 2012.[25]
  • Dunkerley Dialogue: Donald Moffett with Mason Stokes. Tang Museum, 2012.[26]
  • Donald Moffett on This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, March 21, 2012.[27]
  • "Troy Schulze Chats with Donald Moffett." NPR, Nov. 28, 2011.[28]

Permanent collections[edit]


  1. ^ a b “Donald Moffett: On Our New York Watchlist,” ArtSlant. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  2. ^ Smith, Roberta (June 29, 2012). "Art Review: Like Watching Paint Thrive." New York Times. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Karen (Oct. 30, 2008). “Art in Review: Donald Moffett/Yuichi Higashionna.” New York Times. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  4. ^ Fox, Dan (Oct. 2007). “Donald Moffett.” Archived October 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Frieze, p. 288. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  5. ^ Panetta, Jane (July 16, 2012). “Donald Moffett.” Art in America. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  6. ^ Smith, Roberta (May 6, 2010). “Lucio Fontana, Robert Beck and Donald Moffett.” New York Times. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  7. ^ Richer, Francesca and Matthew Rosenzweig, eds. No. 1: First Works by 362 Artists. New York: Distributed Art Publishers (2005).
  8. ^ Wasserman, Nadine (Aug. 8, 2012). “Activist and Painter Donald Moffett's Boundary-Defying Work Intrigues at The Warhol.” Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  9. ^ Smith, Roberta (Nov. 4, 2005). “Art in Review: Donald Moffett.” New York Times. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  10. ^ Cotter, Holland (Oct. 15, 2010). “ACT UP New York.” New York Times. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  11. ^ Cotter, Holland (Nov. 18, 2010). Marlene McCarty: I’m Into You Now.” New York Times. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  12. ^ “Gran Fury Art Collective to be Honored with Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts,” Massachusetts College of Art and Design (press release), April 26, 2011. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  13. ^ Donald Moffett, Marianne Boesky Gallery. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  14. ^ Donald Moffett, Anthony Meier Fine Arts. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
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  21. ^ Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  22. ^ Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  23. ^ Griffin, Amy (March 21, 2012). “Art Review: Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein.” Albany Times-Union. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  24. ^ Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
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  29. ^ Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  30. ^ The Collection: Donald Moffett, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  31. ^ Valdez, Sarah (Nov. 16, 2010). “Act Up New York.” Art in America. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  32. ^ Permanent Collection: Donald Moffett, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  33. ^ Collections: Facts, Which If True (Joe McCarthy), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  34. ^ Collections: Donald Moffett, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
  35. ^ The Fluidity of Time: Selections from the MCA Collection[permanent dead link], Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Retrieved. Dec. 14, 2012.
  36. ^ Donald Moffett, Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX. Retrieved Dec. 14, 2012.
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External links[edit]