Paul Moscatt was born in Brooklyn, New York. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956 during the Korean War. He entered The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science in New York at the age of 25. He graduated from the Art School and entered the painting program at Yale University where he earned a BFA and MFA. He taught at various places including the University of Bridgeport and the Cincinnati Art Academy. He came to Baltimore in 1966 and joined the Maryland Institute, College of Art faculty and has taught there for 34 years. In 2000 Paul retired as Professor Emeritus however he still continues to teach portrait and figure painting in Continuing Education at the Maryland Institute. He still resides in Baltimore with his wife, Carlene, an artist and RISD graduate where they have raised two children, Paul Jr. and Elena.
Paul Moscatt exhibited in group and solo shows in Aspects Gallery, 10th street, New York City between 1960 and 1964. His solo exhibition in November 1963 opened on same day as John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He exhibited at the Peter Cooper Gallery, NYC as well as the Blue Mountain Gallery in Soho, New York City. He has had numerous group and solo exhibitions in Maryland including Maryland Institute, Towson University, UMBC, C. Grimaldis, etc. He has also exhibited extensively nationwide – Earlham College, Indiana, Cinncinnati Art Museum, Dayton Art Institute, etc.
Essentially Paul Moscatt is a figurative painter though his painting is still influenced by his early New York training during the abstract expressionist period. An early major direction was a large series of self-portraits. This at times evolved into a series of “Iconographic Self Portraits”, large paintings, many times acrylic, which were conceived “out of the head”, reflecting moments or situations in his life.
Though always involved in perceptual figure work, for the last number of years, Moscatt has concentrated on paintings and drawings from the “perceptual figure” – working directly from the live model. He has taught life drawing for some 40 years. His feeling for color, perhaps influenced by the understanding of the Alber’s Color Course which he taught during his first twenty years of teaching, as well as the work of painters as diverse as the old masters, Willem De Kooning, Alice Neel and Lucien Freud may explain in part his synthesis of the naturalistic and the abstract. This cycle of expression continues to evolve (or revolve) but his interest in the face and the figure remains constant.
The three paintings in this auction are involved with plein aire painting, the act of working directly from the landscape or with two of the paintings, “seascapes”. Moscatt’s first experience with plein aire painting was in Green Camp, New Jersey in his sophomore year at Cooper Union Art School, 1957. In 1961 he had a scholarship to the Yale-Norfolk Summer School which again was concentrating on landscape painting. Among his classmates were Chuck Close and Brice Marden, two of the leading American painters today. Paul was part of the Isabel and Trafford Klots Artist Residency, Brittany, France in 2005 and 2007 again concentrating on plein aire landscape painting. He has also been teaching a private landscape class in the Baltimore environs.