Michael S. Moore Biography

Michael S. Moore




Michael S. Moore was born in Los Angeles, California in 1942. An early interest in writing and drawing led him to publish a literary magazine in high school and, upon graduation, to pursue art as a career. He entered Stanford University in 1960 and studied painting under Matt Kahn and Keith Boyle, receiving his B.F.A. in 1964. In 1964 he relocated to Connecticut and enrolled in the Graduate School of Art and Architecture at Yale University, studying under Jack Tworkov and earning his M.F.A. in 1965. At this he became involved with the experimental art collective, Pulsa Group, in New Haven, CT. Between 1968 and 1960 he would teach at Yale as a Visiting Artist.

Moore returned to California in 1966, setting up a studio just north of coastal Los Angeles. An ongoing interest in the outdoors, especially the state's vast deserts and beaches, informed much of his work, his style evolving into a pared-down, color-field simplicity that would carry through to his printmaking. A brief return to New Haven until 1969 was followed by relocation to San Francisco, where between jobs he would travel to the high deserts of Nevada and southeastern Oregon, and eventually into Idaho. In addition to painting he was now experimenting with printmaking. He notes on his website:

"Ted Claire and I formed Cactus Patch Press in 1972 to print my Pyramid Lake drawings actual size [20x26”] in a silkscreen edition of fifty, twenty-five as boxed sets, eight images in each, thus beginning a brief foray into printmaking. I followed that with a series of drawings of abandoned cars from drawn from photographs, a dozen of which we printed, in 1973, in an edition of thirty-nine, with again about half the edition in boxes, then did a similar edition of Abandoned Buildings drawn using slides. For the next couple of years we collaborated on small to tiny editions using individual images from my desert explorations, some hand-colored, but by the late seventies this manifestation of my work had ended, though the evidence, for the most part, remains."

These sparse landscapes, occasionally featuring the abandoned detritus of humankind, remained a theme throughout the 1970s and '80s. In 1977 he began to incorporate sculptural elements into his body of work, organizing a project in the eastern Oregon desert that utilized found objects, formed into mechanical-like forms placed throughout the landscape, mapped, photographed, and left to the elements.  His work took him throughout North America, Nepal, France, Italy, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In the 1990s Moore also began to address political issues in some of his works, recurring now and then in oils, watercolors, drawings, and prints. He divided his time living and working between San Francisco and Nevada, and in 2000 he relocated to Benicia, California - though he continues to live part of the time in the desert.

Michael S. Moore continues to exhibit throughout the U.S., and you can learn more about his life and process on his website.

Solo Exhibitions:
1963: St. Michael's Alley, Palo Alto, CA
1973: "A Landgauge of Miniature Landescapes", Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
1974: "Young Local Artist", Stanford University Art Gallery, Stanford, CA
1975: Linda Ferris Gallery, Seattle, WA; William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1976: Smith-Andersen Gallery, San Francisco
1979: William Sawyer Gallery
1981: Out at Third, San Francisco
1983: Glastonbury Gallery, San Francisco
1985: College of Notre Dame Art Gallery, Belmont, CA
1986: University Art Gallery, SF State Gallery, San Francisco
1988: Stremmel Gallery, Reno, NV
1989: Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto
1992: Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NV
1993: Refusalon, San Francisco
1994: Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, CA
1995: SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco
1996: Refusalon
1999: SFMOMA Artists Gallery
2000: Stanford Art Spaces, Stanford
2001: SFMOMA Artists Gallery
2006: Arts Benicia, Benicia, CA
2007: LINCART, San Francisco; Angstrom Gallery, Culver City, CA; Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA
2010: Oats Park Art Center, Fallon, NV
2013: "Making Places", Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM
2020: "Further Afield", Marilyn Citron O'Rourke Art Gallery, Benicia Public Library
2021: The Rollup Project, Oakland, CA
2021-'22: "Visions from Smoke Creek", Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada
2022: "There's No Place Like Nowhere", Marilyn Citron O'Rourke Gallery

Recent Group Shows:
2021: The Spaces Between, Ent Center, UCCS, Colorado Springs, CO; "Marking Time", The Athenaeum, La Jolla, CA

A complete list of Moore's exhibitions can be found on his website.