• Steven Heller

The Daily Heller: More Moscoso Makes Me Happy

I don’t routinely write two Daily Hellers on the same subject within a week of each other. In this instance, however, David Carballal, the curator of Moscoso Cosmos: The Visual Universe of Victor Moscoso—the exhibition open now through Oct. 10 at the Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña (organized by Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña; MUSAC—Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León; and Centro Niemeyer, Avilés; with the collaboration of AC/E—Acción Cultural Española)—sent some new, indeed better, photos of the show.


It would be a perfect fit for the USA … JUST SAYING!



From my catalog introduction to Moscoso Cosmos:


Chief among the visual maestros and principle form-givers, the Spanish-born, Brooklyn-raised, Yale-educated artist Victor Moscoso stumbled into the counter-culture and arose to become the Picasso of a distinct American rock graphic genre called the psychedelic poster. Although the movement’s name was not coined by any of the artists, it aptly underscored the hypnotically illegible letterforms and emblematic typefaces, vibrating color combinations and retrofit antique illustrations comprising a psychotropic-inspired rebellious visual language that vividly communicated to those stoned or visionary enough to see the messages through the chromatic haze. While many of the artists who were making cheaply printed flyers promoting dance hall concert were self-taught, their respective work unwittingly transformed all commercial art and graphic design—and fine arts, too.


Moscoso was unique in many ways. He was the only university-trained artist in this grassroots poster movement. He had learned Bauhaus history and studied early Modernism. But his tenure at Cooper Union and later Yale—where he was taught by the renowned color master Josef Albers—was not so much an advantage as a handicap, and so to work in his newfound genre he had to reverse everything he learned. Albers’ precisionist color theory drove Moscoso crazy, but ultimately it proved invaluable. “Albers’ impact really didn’t show until the psychedelic poster, when I found myself in a situation where all I had to do was reach back to my dusty shelf, so to speak, pull out what I had learned, and reverse it,” Moscoso explains, adding with a grin: “I had seven years of college—I could have been a doctor.”
























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