The title of Sam Moyer’s second show at Rachel Uffner Gallery, Slack Tide, refers to the moment between low and high tide, where the sea stands still. It’s a fitting metaphor; the large-scale works have a kinetic energy that has been flattened and frozen in time. The works hover between painting and sculpture made through a technique of dyeing, folding and bleaching canvases, then pasting them in layers on wooden armatures. This process creates a textural surface that resembles shimmering water and gives off a quiet, absorbing presence, like the calm before the storm.
The field-like quality of the canvases Sam Moyer creates continue the abstract painting tradition with a more contemporary bent. The artist’s materials are simple—India ink, bleach, canvas and wood—but they are pushed to a place that allows the work to be more cerebral than crafty. The use of bleach instead of paint on canvas echoes photographic processing techniques. The influence of Moyer’s photography background combined with earlier processes such as Xeroxes and other printing methods can also be seen here. For those reasons, the show deserves a close look.
Slack Tide runs through April 22.