Open Studio: John Henri Moser

 In MOA Features

Welcome to virtual Open Studio! Enjoy learning about artwork and participate in a fun art project at home!

Today, we will be looking at the work of John Henri Moser. John Henri Moser was an artist who lived in Utah. He studied art in Paris for two years, and it was there that he was introduced to a new style of painting called fauvism. This style inspired him, and he brought it back to Utah, where he became known for his colorful landscapes.

Exploring the Artwork

Take a moment to look at the paintings included in this post.
– What’s the first thing you notice about Moser’s style?

You might notice that the colors are a lot brighter than traditional landscapes! Fauvism was known for using bright colors and dynamic–or expressive and visible–brush-strokes. “Fauvism” comes from the French word fauve, meaning “wild beast”.
– Why might this style of art be compared to a wild beast?



John Henri Moser (1876-1951), Tetons from Jenny Lake, 1930, oil on board, 12 ½x 15 ½inches. Susan and Mark Callister Collection.

Now, please find Tetons From Jenny Lake.
Notice how Moser uses thick, dynamic brushstrokes.
– What effect does this have on the painting?
– Does it make it more realistic, or abstract? How does this painting by Moser feel different from the more traditional landscape of the same location shown below?
– What about the use of color? Share the differences you see with others in your group.






John Henri Moser (1876-1951), Red Stone Canyons, Zion, 1923, oil on board, 19 x 23 inches. Susan and Mark Callister Collection.

Next: Red Stone Canyons, Zion. Notice how much the colors stand out from each other. Moser is using a complementary color scheme by painting large blocks of color that are opposite from each other on the color wheel. His bright yellow and orange mountains contrast the shades of purple in the sky and the green painted below. Using complementary colors together really makes them stand out!
– How would this painting feel different if there was less contrast. For example, what if the mountains were blue instead of orange and yellow?
– Is this what mountains and sky look like in real life, or are the colors different from what we might see?
– Why might he choose to paint colors that are unrealistic?




John Henri Moser, “Spring Aspens,” no date, oil on panel. Purchased with funds from Friends of the Art Museum and partial gift of Genevieve Lawrence, Permanent Collection, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah.

Last, find Spring Aspens. Compare Red Stone Canyons to Spring Aspens. Spring Aspens uses an analogous color scheme–yellow, green, and blue are next to each other on the color wheel. Art with analogous color schemes tends to appear more harmonious and unified.
– How do the paintings feel different because of their color schemes?











Art Activity
Now it’s time to create your very own Moser-inspired landscape! Try using oil pastels if you have them, because they produce bright, vibrant colors like the ones Moser used. Crayons, acrylic paints, colored pencils, or even yarn will also work! Try to use a color scheme (like complementary or analogous) and dynamic marks to really make your artwork pop!

Take a photo of your creation and tag us on social media using #byumoa and #moafromhome

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