Denny Moers has become known for his highly imaginative,
technically innovative photographs, which encompass subject matter
as diverse as New England architecture, medieval wall frescoes,
ancient Egyptian tomb reliefs, contemporary construction sites and
most recently, western desertscapes. he uses the term photographic
monoprint to describe the unique quality of each of his images,
which he creates by controlling the action of light on the chemicals
in sensitized photographic paper during the print developing process.
His black and white pictures thus exhibit an extraordinary range
of colors, from black to deep rust to pale reds and rich blues.
Denny Moers was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1953.
He received his B.A. from Empire State College, (SUNY NY) in 1975
and an M.F.A. from the Visual Studies Work- shop in 1977. During
the early eighties, he worked as Aaron Siskind's first assistant.
He currently is adjunct professor of photography at Roger Williams
University in Bristol, Rhode Island, and has served as guest lecturer
at Harvard University and the Rhode Island School of Design , among
other institutions. He has received the Fellowship in Photography
Award from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts three times.
His photographs are included in numerous public and private collections,
among them the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Addison Gallery of American
Art in Andover, Massachusetts; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the
Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem;
and the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City.
In addition to numerous one-person exhibitions, the artist's work
has been included in many important group shows, among the most
recent of which have been La Matiere, L'ombre, La Fiction at the
Bibliotheque Nationale De France (1994), Degrees of Abstraction-From
Moris Lewis to Robert Mapplethorpe (related exhibit), at the Museum
of Fine Arts in Boston (1995), and Calm and Commotion: Abstract
Art from the Permanent Collection, at the Mississippi Museum of
In his earliest works, Moers drew upon architectural forms and details
which he found in buildings throughout New England. These softly
colored, elegant images gave way to more complex, richly colored
and highly imaginative pictures following a series of trips abroad
during the eighties. Narrative wall paintings from the Italian renaissance,
medieval Yugoslavian frescoes, Turkish sculptures and scenes of
ancient Egypt carved in low relief were transformed and translated
by Moers into his own form of visual poetry. In the most recent
works, constructions sites and desertscapes are shown as if lit
by the palest of sunsets or the most ominous foreboding. But the
sunsets, like all of Moers' work, are his creations rather than
Moers has stated that music and poetry have been the primary influences
upon his work. He sees poetry at its best as incorporating both
mystery and the sublime. The distinguished poet Robert Creeley has
written in his foreword to the catalogue and exhibition, Figments
of a Landscape: Photographic Monoprints by Denny Moers: "Feelings
are the values here. They prove the stabilizing connection for all
these determined landscapes and figures and details of architecture".
Moers himself has quoted and feels a particular kinship to the statement
made by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who, in describing the
angels in his Elegies, claimed that he was trying to "make
invisible the visible".
Diana Johnson, Director, David Winton Bell Gallery
List Art Center, Brown University