Unspeakable Joy, an exhibition of stunning abstract paintings by
Moe Brooker that erupt in color and push energetically beyond the
edges of the canvas, will open at the June Kelly Gallery on May 25.
The exhibition will remain on view through June 25.
statement titled Notes to Myself, Brooker writes, “My work is
about the joy of the human spirit. Joy is not happiness but a
deep abiding knowledge that is way down deep inside each person.
Happiness depends upon the external, but joy originates and
resonates from the internal self.” He says his paintings are
about rhythmic patterns and layered colorful surfaces that “reflect
my belief in the human spirit; of invitation that celebrates and
informs the emotional, intellectual and spiritual self.”
Brooker’s vibrant paintings suggest the wonderment he feels in the
making of marks and effusive splashes of brilliant color in
overlapping ambiguous shapes. His guileless acts of looking,
touching and feeling are experiences Brooker says are vital to his
work. “My joy is an embrace of life.”
cites jazz, poetry and even the process of painting itself as being
spiritual experiences that guide and impact him as he paints.
Jazz, he says, is often a metaphor for him when plotting and
considering his pictorial space.
Brooker’s paintings can seem to have a life of its own that comes
through in the sense of rhythm, brilliant color and random markings,
like the rough and playful improvisations of jazz. The feel of
the music, the spontaneity, free and loose are like the splashes of
brilliant color aligned with passionate brushwork and hints of lines
scrawled randomly across the canvas. In some pieces, Brooker
allows patterns to emerge in small geometric arrangements much like
the musical cadences in an overall composition.
think of my work as maps that take you on a journey through an
imagined universe filled with moments of joy, sadness, pleasure and
delight,” Brooker says. “My paintings are attempts to share my
journey and heighten the sense of human existence that we all have.”
lives and works in Philadelphia. He holds BFA and MFA degrees from
Tyler School of Fine Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. His
work is represented in numerous public and private collections,
including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania Academy
of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The
Studio Museum in Harlem, Hampton University Museum, The Gund
Foundation, Progressive Insurance Company in Cleveland, University
of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and The Kimmel Center for the Performing
won a commission in February 2014 from the Metropolitan Transit
Authority to design windows for the North Façade of the elevator
tower of the Long Island Railroad building in Wyandanch, New York.
Brooker’s design consists of 12 vertical windows, each 10 feet tall
and 7 feet wide, and each with a colorful, abstract pattern that he
created and that was fabricated in float glass at the Mayer of
Munich Studio in Germany. The installation was completed in