Rowan University Art Gallery

Jill Moser - Naming Game

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 17th, 2005 5:00-7:00pm

Catalogue available with an essay by Lilly Wei

In the Fall of 2002, Jill Moser invited poets, curators, critics, and painters to provide her with pairs of words that she could then use as catalysts for a series of diptychs. This was the inception of a collaborative project entitled Naming Game. The project arose from a desire of the artist to push the descriptive possibilities of line and to encourage play with meaning. Over the course of two years, Naming Game generated a large group of paintings, drawings and photo collages.

Jill Moser's collaboration with writers was perfectly suited to her continuing interest as a painter to explore the complex, shifting, and malleable relationships between words and images, the literal and the abstract. This collaboration also pushed her further into a performative dialogue with her own process. She employed the diptych format to suggest both a stage and an open book. This platform enabled her to enact a more physical reading of the painted or drawn surface from which she could then tease out recognizable forms. Her lines, in turn, serve as voices exploring the variable territories of naming and referent, description and subject.

Play and gaming is inherent in the character of Moser's work, especially in the Naming Game titles, as the dyads contributed by writers are poetic, chaotic, lighthearted, and alliterative. The humorous, dialogue-driven, and inventive use of language in Jill Moser's Naming Game opens up, animates and invites questions into the conversation about the very idea of naming what is seen.

For over twenty years, the paintings, drawings, prints, and photography of Jill Moser have continually engaged in a focused and informed dialogue with expressive line and word/image byplay. Moser's mark and trace on the surface has oscillated between diverse extremes of abstraction and narrative, contour and flatness, as well as inertia and motion. She endows her wonderfully idiosyncratic lines with faint bodily referents, both erotic and humorous, but always keeping in mind the simple surface banality of line.

Jill Moser's work is represented in prominent private and public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and The Art Institute of Chicago. She earned a BA at Brown University in Providence, R.I., and an MFA from Hunter College in New York. Moser is currently a mentor at Empire State College at the State University of New York and has taught at Princeton University and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Please visit for further examples of her artwork.