Ed Moses Biography

Ed Moses




Painter and printmaker Ed Moses was born in Long Beach, California, on April 9, 1926. After three semesters at Long Beach Polytechnic, Moses entered the Navy during World War II as a Navy Medical Corps scrub assistant, discovering an aptitude for treating injuries. After his tour of duty ended he enrolled at Long Beach City College's pre-med program with the intent of becoming a doctor, but changed to an art major after taking a course in painting with Pedro Miller. 

In 1949 he transferred to UCLA and then the University of Oregon. After dropping out and working various odd jobs, he returned to Los Angeles in 1953 and re-enrolled at UCLA in order to completing his Master's Degree. He formed the "Cool School" with artists Robert Irwin, Larry, Bell, Ed Ruscha, John Altoon, and others at the new and influential Ferus Gallery, a leading West Coast exhibition venue for Modern artists in the 1950s and 60s. In definace of UCLA's protocol, he held his Master's final at the gallery rather than the school's own. Before long he had become a major contributor and promoter of the West Coast art scene.

Following graduation he moved to New York City. There, he became friends with Franz Kline, Milton Resnick, William de Kooning, and Mark Rothko, with whom he would exhibit in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. Though he had been establishing himself in internationally-recognized contemporary art circles, he was uninterested in relagating himself to a particular style, unlike his peers, preferring to experiment with styles and unusual mediums. He married in 1959 and moved with wife Avilda Peters to Los Angeles, where they started a family.

In 1968, he was offered a teaching position at the University of California, Irvine, where he taught until 1972. He then taught at UCLA from 1965 to 1968. He continued his personal work, as well, receiving a Tamarind Lithography Workshop Fellowship (1968), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant (1976), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1980), and working with Peter Goulds at L.A. Louver from 1980 to 1995. He exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad and a major retrospective of his work was held at the MOCA LA in 1996. He died in Venice, California, on January 17, 2018.

Moses' works are held in the permanent collection os the Albright-Knox Gallery, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Berkeley Art Museum at UC Berkeley; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Dallas Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Cincinnati Museum of Art; the Butler Art Institute of American Art, Ohio; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the National Gallery of Art; the Musee national d'art moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, FR; and many others.