1926-2018

Famed L.A. artist Ed Moses passes away at age 91

Obit West
The famed Los Angeles artist Ed Moses has passed away at age 91. (Courtesy Frank Thomas)
The famed Los Angeles artist Ed Moses has passed away at age 91. (Courtesy Frank Thomas)

The noted and influential Los Angeles artist Ed Moses has passed away.

A fixture on the L.A. art and architecture scene for over 70 years, Moses died of natural causes at his Venice, California home at the age of 91 on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

Moses was widely-celebrated for his ever-changing and provocative style of painting and was well-known among the L.A. architects of the 1970s and 1980s who gravitated toward the city’s then-burgeoning visual arts scene.

Moses was also member of the so-called “Cool School” group of artists, a motley mix of contemporary visual artists that took root in the 1950s in L.A. and set a trailblazing path in the realm of Pop Art. The group was heavily associated with Ferus Gallery in L.A. and included Craig Kauffman, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Edward Kienholz, Ken Price, Ed Ruscha, Larry Bell, John Altoon and Wallace Berman among its members.

Moses was also a mentor and friend to architect Frank Gehry, who told The Los Angeles Times, “He opened a lot of doors for me, doors of thinking, to a way of looking at life, of thinking about work and creativity and freedom and expressing oneself—taking chances.”

Gehry added, “He was the first person that was in that world that sort of took me under his wing. He was very supportive. I think he influenced others by his sense of freedom, his personality, his willingness to step into the unknown. He epitomized that … I think of him as my north star.”

Moses is survived by his wife, Avilda, his sons Cedd and Andy, daughters-in-law Pamela and Kelly, and grandchildren Maxwell and Violette.

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