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Culture & Artsby John Ferguson1:30 pmDec 16, 20160

Brew Recommends: Paul Moscatt retrospective at the Cork Factory

Bathed in light and color, paintings by an influential Baltimore artist

Above: Paul Moscatt’s work displayed at a new gallery in the Cork Factory. (Dave Herman)

The inaugural show at the Grey Matter Art Space, “Rediscovering Paul Moscatt, Six Decades of Painting,” is a visual treat.

The show is located in the Cork Factory, an ancient red brick building located in the Station North Art and Entertainment District. “Cork” is a reference to the building’s origins as the first manufacturing plant of Baltimore-bred Crown Cork & Seal, inventor of the modern bottle cap.

I am not sure Moscatt needs to be rediscovered. Considering his many years of teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art and his many exhibitions in and outside the city, he has certainly been a presence in the Baltimore art scene.
WHERE: Cork Factory, 1601 Guilford Avenue
WHEN: 12-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (except 12/24 and 12/25) through January 28
MORE INFO: Davewherman@aol.com or moscatt@aol.com
In the Cork Factory, you enter the Grey Matter Space from a hallway that probably looks exactly like it did when Ellsworth Weant had a printing business in the building.

Walking up a short flight of stairs, you enter the gallery door and are immediately moved by the intense splashes of color.

Paul Moscatt talks to art students at the Grey Matter Gallery. (Dave Herman)

Paul Moscatt views his work at the Grey Matter Art Space. (Dave Herman)

Moscatt has made a career of the human form. Many of the paintings in the show are of the nude female. Others focus on the head, especially the self portraits. His early work, included in the show, features landscape and still life.

“Napoleon Head self portrait” by Paul Moscatt. (Dave Herman)

The Grey Matter Art Space is a subject in itself. It has very high ceilings and is flooded with natural light from a west wall that is virtually all glass.

Dave Herman, proprietor and also curator of the show, has painted the walls a deep gray that tastefully frames the heroically stacked paintings, some as large as six by 10 feet.

In the afternoon light, the room becomes both an enchanting symphony and sometimes a challenging cacophony of color. I can’t help but think Moscatt’s Yale Art School study with Josef Albers “color course” and his subsequent teaching of that course in Bridgeport, Cincinnati and finally at MICA have been a major factor in his passion and, I think, mastery of color.

“Barbarella self portrait” by Paul Moscatt. (Dave Herman)

If you have been to the Henry Matisse-Richard Diebenkorn Exhibition currently at Baltimore Museum of Art, you are probably drawn to the direction of the vivid abstractions of Wassily Kandinsky and his Blue Rider movement.

And maybe Chaim Soutine, too, not to forget Lucian Freud and Alice Neel. If so, the Moscatt show is a must see.
John Ferguson designs and casts large-scale sculptures at his studio in the Cork Factory.

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