Kate Mosher Hall*

The spotlight crawls across the floor, up the wall, glowing like a handy, sudden moon. It is a tunnel, which is a kind of vision—a porthole, a hole-punch. The darkness simmers. In Kate Mosher Hall’s paintings, the light roams. It searches. These are stage sets for a play that hasn’t started yet or ended years ago;

the potential action scuttles between past and future, memory and longing. They read like the bones of a detective novel, a California noir, from which the characters have all rotted away. Every mystery is only a well-placed shadow, as is most beauty. We know a window when we see one, even if we can’t see through it.

Kate Mosher Hall makes brick walls seem hazy, lucid, while her windows enclose, flatten. The paintings are cropped close-ups of a larger imaginary architecture. Surrounding buildings exist only in slanted silhouettes and our hushed projections. There is a sense that the real image, the true subject of the work, is hovering behind us. There is a sense that the real space we are in is not real at all. I almost feel that we could peel back the white room of the gallery like strips of bark from a birch tree and find Hall’s secret house buried in the walls.

Or maybe the house is a curtain that has fallen on the space we are standing
in. Show’s over, folks. We came to watch the low-res drama unfold, or perhaps, it was the drama of low resolution, the pixels breathing in and out in suspense. The grain is familiar; it is easy to recognize the digital crunch of downloaded scenarios, the strain of expansion, the blunt edges of the copied, pasted, and printed. But the blurriness is not haunted or foggy, circumstances of landscape, temporary veils over what we came here to see. The obscurity is all there is. Feathery pinks, a wink of green, flickers of Hall’s hand as she drags the building into view—They are all stacked atop a blur. There’s an indeterminate image, and then there’s an image of indeterminacy, and they aren’t the same thing. It’s almost impossible to make something completely story-less. Kate Mosher Hall toes the boundary of that impossibility, pushes narrative up against the wall. We are left only with the story of how story faded away. The paintings bristle. Fantasy peeks through the blinds, but there is only us on the other side.

– Audrey Wollen

Kate Mosher Hall (born in 1986 in Los Angeles, California) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BFA from CalArts in 2013 and her MFA from UCLA in 2020.

Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include ‘Without a body, without Bill’ at Hannah Hoffmann Gallery, Los Angeles in 2021; ‘LOQK’ at Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles, and ‘Wind Breaker’ at Phil Gallery, Los Angeles, both in 2019, among others.

Selected group exhibitions include ‘K as in Knight’ at Helena Anrather, New York in 2021; ‘Last Call’ at The Gallery at Michael’s, Santa Monica, and ‘The Sun is Also a Star’ at Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles, both in 2019. Mosher Hall has also participated in group exhibitions at the New Museum, New York, 67 Ludlow, New York and Marfa Ballroom, Texas.