Thirtieth Anniversary Catalogue


A history of the Tobey C. Moss Gallery as shown through exhibitions held in the gallery over the past thirty years.
112 pages, over 200 illustrations
Essays by Michael Duncan, Clifford Ackley and Tobey Moss.
$25 plus $5 shipping and sales tax (California only)
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The Tobey C. Moss Gallery modestly began in 1978 with a small collection of fine prints and drawings; however, within two years, we began to broaden our focus. While still continuing to exhibit works on paper from the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America of the 16th through 20th centuries, we opened ourselves to art in all media and to artists of California, particularly of Los Angeles, active in the 1930s through the 1960s.
Introduced to the artists of this period through Helen Lundeberg and Lorser Feitelson, we brought attention to their work and to their positions in art history. Our focused group grew to include Clinton Adams, Ruth Asawa, Karl Benjamin, Ben Berlin, Dorr Bothwell, Nicholas P. Brigante, Jean Charlot, Lee Chesney, William Dole, Rupert J. Deese, Werner Drewes, Leonard Edmondson, Jules Engel, Joseph Goldyne, Claire Falkenstein, Oskar Fischinger, Frederick Hammersley, George Herms, John Langley Howard, James Hueter, Luchita Hurtado, Ynez Johnston, Matsumi Kanemitsu, Peter Krasnow, Lou Jacobs Jr., Basil Langton, Rico Lebrun, David P. Levine, Stanton Macdonald Wright, Sam Maloof, Harrison McIntosh, John McLaughlin, Knud Merrild, Lee Mullican, Channing Peake, Jay Rivkin, Betye Saar, Palmer Schoppe, Peter Shire, Joyce Treiman, Gordon Wagner, Howard Warshaw, June Wayne and Emerson Woelffer…and perhaps I’ve forgotten someone vital! Along the way, the gallery and I have enjoyed friendships, relationships, business activities and aesthetic satisfactions that have expanded over thirty-plus years. It became our singular mission to promote these important artists, so many of whom have become our personal friends. I could relate the many experiences I have shared with these wonderful people…but that alone could fill another volume!
From our original concept of 16th to 20th century intaglios and historic lithographs by international artists, we’ve smoothed pathways to Post-Surrealism and abstraction of the 1930s to the present, with a focus upon artists working in California. Among the many artists, subjects and periods that also have been featured over these thirty years are: Assemblage, Sculptors-on-paper, Mexico’s Taller de Grafica Popular, Women artists, Tamarind and Lynton Kistler’s Lithography Workshops, California Hard-Edge Abstraction and Print Connoisseurship through the art of Mario Avati, Herbert Bayer, Max Beckmann, John Bernhardt, Angel Bracho, Leonora Carrington, Elizabeth Catlett, Grace Clements, Albrecht Dürer, Ernest Haskell, Paul Landacre, Leopoldo Mendez, Henry Moore, Pablo O’Higgins, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Rufino Tamayo, James A. M. Whistler, and more! Our mode of presentation is often through retrospective exhibitions that show the aesthetic evolution of selected artists’ works. We admit to an admiration for the ‘risk takers’ who have asserted bold directions and have made a contributions relevant to art history.
We have treasured the works of these wonderful artists every day for these thirty years, taking pride in each piece…and are so pleased that you – our collectors – have responded to them as well. We are gratified by the attentions of museum curators, private collectors, personal consultants and our fellow dealers, deriving personal pleasure from viewing ‘our’ art on your walls. For their support, we thank Ms. Jeri Waxenberg, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Turney, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Copses, Mr. Gerald Buck, Dr. and Mr. Stephen Totten, Dr. and Mrs. John Filippone, Mrs. Sam Rubinstein and Mr. Scott Schaefer for letting us illustrate works in their collections – just a few of the great pieces we’ve offered during our 30 years.
I express my deep thanks to Clifford Ackley for his personal introduction to this publication (as well as his support over the years) and to Michael Duncan for his overview of our place within the history of 20th century American art. They both continue to be very important critics in my life and work. I listen to them!
As an historical reference, we’ve included a full listing of exhibitions and publications that have been organized here over these thirty years. I’ll admit that I feel a deep flush of pleasure at recounting them. The fact that this is possible is due in large part to Erin Kurinsky, director of our gallery, and Elena M. Smith, our summer ArtTable intern from Swarthmore College.
In 2003 I wrote that ‘Art’ is an enrichment in all our lives. It is precious to discover art in the natural world around us, in our bodies, in relationships with one another, in histories of the sciences and philosophy as well as the arts and, particularly, in opening ourselves to new ideas.” Today, I say: keep growing, exploring, experimenting and appreciating…you CAN learn something new every day!
It is human nature to recall the past as prelude. Over the years my ‘old’ clients have repeatedly returned, expecting what they sought…as well as the unexpected! Among the museums and people, I cite with gratitude LACMA’s Ebria Feinblatt and Bruce Davis, Boston’s Clifford Ackley, the NMAA’s Janet Flint and Joann Moser, The Whitney’s Patterson Simms and David Kiehl, Worcester’s David Acton, the Nora Eccles Harrison’s George Wanlass and the National Gallery’s Ruth Fine – to name only a few.
But, this publication aims at the gallery – not at me, or you or the individual artists. The gallery has developed an independent personality. My first ‘boss’ – Jake Zeitlin of Zeitlin & VerBrugge – mentored me: “Find your location and STAY there”, “Your last client…is your NEXT client” and, finally, “Stay in business for 50 years and you’ve got it made”.
Well, I’m working on it!
Tobey Moss, 2008