Loren Norman Mozley
Loren Mozley (1905-1989) was born on October 2, 1905. He moved with his family in 1906 to New Mexico. He was introduced to oil painting by one of his father's Navajo patients and began to paint at age eleven. In 1926 he moved to Taos. For the next two years he painted and exhibited his work at the Harwood Gallery, and befriended artists Andrew Dasburg, Dorothy Brett, John Ward Lockwood, Kenneth Adams, and John Marin, among others. From 1929 to 1931 Mozley studied at the Colarossi and Chaumière academies in Paris, copied paintings at the Louvre, and traveled in Holland, Italy, and southern France. He returned to America penniless in 1931 and spent the next four years in New York City, working as an engraver for part of the time and painting when he could. During this time he befriended Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Georgia O'Keeffe. In 1935 he returned to Taos, where he married Wilma Genevieve Meyer on December 15; they had no children. For the next few years Mozley worked to establish a career as a painter and teacher. He received WPA commissions to paint murals for the Federal Building in Albuquerque and the post office in Clinton, Oklahoma; exhibited his work as a member of the Taos Heptagon, an artists' gallery group; and published an article on his friend John Marin in the Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art (1936). In 1936 he began teaching in the art department at the University of New Mexico, and in the summers of 1937 and 1938 he served as director of the Field School of Art at Taos. He also served as a member of the board of the University of New Mexico Harwood Foundation from 1937 to 1938. He exhibited his work at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and the Denver Art Museum in 1938.
Mozley left New Mexico in August 1938 to help Ward Lockwood organize the new art department at the University of Texas in Austin. The two men put their jobs on the line by insisting on the necessity of nude models for life-drawing classes and worked to bridge the gap between academia and the larger arts community by hiring artists as teachers, bringing art exhibitions to the campus, and serving on juries throughout the state. During the next few years Mozley completed a post office mural in Alvin, Texas, lectured in Texas museums, and served as acting chairman of the department of art from 1942 to 1945 and as president of the Texas Fine Arts Association (1945-46). His work was exhibited regionally and began to win recognition: he received the Cokesbury Prize for an etching entered in the Dallas Museum Print Show (1943) and won first prize and the San Antonio Art League prize for paintings entered in Texas General exhibitions (1942 and 1945).
Loren Mozley painted scenes from the American Southwest, Mexico, South America, and Spain in a methodical, geometric style, using a palette dominated by dusky purples and maroons, brightened with accents of gold, green, olive, and blue. Oil paints were his primary medium, although he also experimented with watercolors, lithography, and graphic techniques. He described himself as a "child of the Cubist order," but the work of Andrew Dasburg, an influential Taos painter who applied Cézannesque geometry to his southwestern landscapes, was a more direct influence on his style. In some of his most powerful early works Mozley used objects such as roses, crowns of thorns, and bird nests to embody evocative scenes such as Tragic Landscape (1944) and The Hunter (1946). In Winter Fields (1948). Mozley retired from the University of Texas with the rank of professor emeritus in 1975. Three years later his career was commemorated by a retrospective exhibition and catalogue organized by the University of Texas Art Gallery. Mozley died on September 21, 1989. His work is in the collection of the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery in Austin, the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, and the Witte Museum in San Antonio.
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