9 - 17 Dec 2022, continuing 11 Jan - 4 Feb 2023
Text by Robert Moon
The exhibition Maquette at No Show Space takes its starting point from a maquette by my father Jeremy Moon from 1973. This small painted corrugated cardboard object was amongst his final ideas and studies, and was hanging on his studio pinboard at the time of his death that year. Judging by his work from this period we might anticipate that it could have become a larger shaped painting or relief, or even a sculpture. But we must also, as an unrealised work, accept it at face value as an object with interesting qualities of its own and intriguing potential.
The idea for this exhibition developed after being involved with the small exhibition ’Jeremy Moon - 15/73’ at Ivory Tars in Glasgow in 2019. Moon’s last painting 15/73 from 1973 was displayed, but also working drawings and some small maquettes exploring his ideas for that painting and other possible works from this late period.
For this exhibition I have brought together works by 39 artists that I felt shared something with Moon’s small experiment. Whether that might be through material, scale, process, shape, handling or intention. My choices can be seen through a lens of abstraction and formalism, where a dialogue between painting and sculpture, or two and three dimensions was everything. But I’ve also included works that aren’t connected to that type of inquiry, specifically to test boundaries a little. I’ve enjoyed imagining what might emerge next from all these works. I’m also entirely happy to accept and enjoy them for what they are.
What is the difference between a maquette, a mock-up, a model, a prop, a thought, or a template for instance? Some artists might think of their piece as a complete work, others might see theirs as a study or prototype for a more developed or final work. Some may think it is just practical, economical, or even political to work on a small scale with readily available simple materials. I hope the show also gives a chance to think about the early stages of artistic ideas and making, not least as these can involve a freedom and simplicity of thought and action which can become lost as a work progresses.
Jeremy Moon was born in Altrincham, Cheshire in 1934. He studied law at Cambridge and worked in advertising before becoming an artist in 1961. His first solo exhibition was at the Rowan Gallery in London in 1963, he exhibited annually with them between 1965 and 1973, becoming a leading figure in British art. His work was abstract and geometric in form, and was known for his development of the shaped canvas. Moon lived and worked in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey from 1966 with his wife and three children. He died following a motorcycle accident in 1973 aged 39. Moon's work is held in the collections of Tate, The Arts Council, The British Council, The British Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Government Art Collection.
Robert Moon is the eldest child of Jeremy Moon. He is an artist and manages the Estate of Jeremy Moon. He edited the Jeremy Moon monograph ‘Jeremy Moon Starlight Hour’ published in 2022. He lives in Box Hill, Surrey. @robertmoon_
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Generously funded by Henry Moore Foundation