Artist Carl E. Moore Comments on Racism Ramifications in Exhibition ‘PAUSE’
Works by Memphis Painter on View Feb. 3–April 30 at Arts & Science Center; Reception Is March 3
The next exhibition at The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC) showcases the work of noted Memphis artist Carl E. Moore. “PAUSE. People, Places and Scenes by Carl E. Moore” features more than 30 pieces from the artist’s most recent body of work. The exhibition opens Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, and will be on view in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through April 30, 2022. The exhibition is sponsored by Relyance Bank.
A joint reception for “PAUSE” and Meikel Church’s exhibition “Was It Ever Real?,” is planned for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Moore’s paintings comment on a culture fraught with anti-Black rhetoric and sentiment, where the physical and psychological ramifications of racism seep into the private lives of the community he depicts, ASC Curator Jessica Lenehan said.
“Using flat imagery and bold colors, Moore’s subjects fill their spaces, giving a sense of being overwhelmed,” she noted. “Amongst the grief, some images speak of resilience and strength. The subjects gaze out at the viewer, confronting the audience in the same way Moore asks us to confront the systemic oppression around us.”
His work deals with color and identity, Moore said. “My goal is to compare social ideologies about race, stereotypes, and belief systems to everyday colors and the perception of these colors in our environment,” he said.
The exhibition title “PAUSE” reflects the status of the characters in the work, Moore said.
The artwork depicts “People living in their community, living their lives and in their spaces, as Black Americans living in a PAUSED position, waiting,” Moore explained. “Waiting for the next headline or event to happen. Waiting for the next justified police shooting or the next unexplained act of violence. Waiting for the most recent statistical data about high unemployment or the next random report on unequal healthcare for Black women. Waiting for the next apology for a recently discovered history of wrongdoing or waiting for gentrification, redlining, redistricting, or redevelopment to claim Black neighborhoods.”
He continued, “The artwork acts as a collective group of people living in one community, but at the same time, these could be people anywhere. The work moves from simple day-to-day activities to sometimes intense and unpredictable situations, where people PAUSE for the outcome.”
Moore earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in art and studio practice, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration, graphic design, and painting, both from the Memphis College of Art. He was born and raised in Canton, Mississippi.
Recent solo exhibitions include 2019’s “At Your Discretion” at ArtUp Gallery in Memphis and 2018’s “… and Justice for All” at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
His accolades include receiving the 2019-2020 Tennessee Artist Fellowship from the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University. And in 2020, Moore was chosen for a 10-month residency with Crosstown Arts in Memphis.
For more information about Moore and his work, visit carlemoore.com.
As part of ASC’s digital series “Inside the Arts,” an interview with Moore will be viewable on ASC’s Facebook page (facebook.com/asc701/) and website (asc701.org) at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3. “Inside the Arts” is supported in part by the Harold S. Seabrook Charitable Trust.
The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC), 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff, is accredited with the American Alliance of Museums. ASC presents programming in the visual arts, performing arts, and the sciences through exhibits, performances, classes and local partnerships. Gallery admission is free. ASC is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. In 2021, ASC opened two new facilities as part of its “ARTx3” campus — The ARTSpace on Main and ART WORKS on Main, at 623 and 627 S. Main St.
Support for ASC is provided in part by the ASC Endowment Fund, the City of Pine Bluff, the Pine Bluff Advertising & Promotion Commission and the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Division of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional operating support is provided in part by the Windgate Foundation, Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, Kline Family Foundation, Relyance Bank and Simmons Bank.
Mr. & Mrs. Black America.png — “Mr. & Mrs. Black America,” acrylic gouache on canvas, 12 inches by 24 inches (diptych), 2020, is one of the works in “PAUSE. People, Places and Scenes by Carl E. Moore.” The exhibition by the noted Memphis artist opens Feb. 3, 2022, at The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff.