The Collective /SHARE
Warm Heart, Cool Touch
Sam Moyer’s Brooklyn studio couldn’t be more befitting for an artist inspired by architecture. “I’ve had maybe eight or nine studios in New York and the majority have been little dry wall boxes ... So having a touch of an architectural moment in a studio feels really special,” she says. And it is exactly this, the often-indescribable response an architectural moment can incite, that informs much of Moyer’s work. “The transparency of the marble that makes up the windows of the Beinecke Library in New Haven, the tone of the Rothko Chapel created by the restricted skylight; the rolled stones and man-made fossils that make up the shores of the North Fork of Long Island,” are some particular moments that have remained with her over the years.
Here, the architectural moment Moyer is referring to is created by the studio’s defining feature: two impressive brick archways separating the office from the lion’s share of the space, where large-scale works hang on white walls, or lie resting on the floor awaiting completion. Marble, bronze, glass, onyx and stone are her materials of choice. “Once you’re in a marble yard and you see everything that’s there, it’s very exciting. I got my hands on a great scrap pile at a good deal and the last two years that’s been an endless resource,” says Moyer.
Her latest project – a solo booth for Frieze art fair, which takes place in New York this May – takes us inside the family home. “The main goal with this installation is to create a domestic feeling … A warm interior environment to contrast the feeling you have whilst walking around the fair, which is so fast paced with people digesting things so quickly,” says Moyer. More closely referencing modernism than her previous work – “that moment post war when we started to bring natural materials back into interior design and move plastics out” – she refers to seminal manufacturer Herman Miller and the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright when describing the tone.
And when it comes to the comfort items, which Moyer says aren’t direct influences but items she likes to keep close, the Los Angeles native who’s called New York home for the past seven years points to the stack of books lining her shelves – Flannery O’Connor, Saul Bellow, Hemingway, Borges, Bolaño, Robert Walser and Gertrude Stein among them. “I don’t even know how these books got here. It’s not like I curated this … There must have been some attachment to them, or some need to drag these specific novels around,” she says.
In particular, Moyer notes Robert Walser among her favourite authors. Like her work, which blurs the line between various artistic forms including sculpture, photography and painting, Walser blurs the line between writing and art. “He wrote a lot about the perspective of the artist,” says Moyer. “He’s a great writer and also just a beautiful poet.”