Karen Moss

Southeast Asia
53″x71″; acrylic paint, fabric, paper; 2014

Karen Moss
Brookline, Massachusetts, USA


The themes for each period of my art have emerged from my environment, travels, reading and the political/social climate of the time. In the late 60s, as a recent graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, I was living in London where I encountered the art of Eduardo Paolozzi, whose work on paper was composed of Pop Art imagery mixed with complex patterning. This inspired me to use collage as a medium. British culture provided consumer catalogs, wrapping papers and comics as materials.

In later years, I turned to watercolour, followed by the use of collage to explore themes of Native American history, the voyage of Darwin to the Galapagos and the natural history artist Maria Sibylla Merian, who studied insects and plants in Suriname. This work made use of collaged maps, old engravings, hand drawn and printed fragments, as well as text.

Now, I am back to using shredded catalogs and cut-out discount coupons to create abstractions composed of gradual color gradations and fragments of text.

My most recent work focuses on scenes of blighted urban environments, including images of homelessness and decay. This work integrates hand painted or drawn elements with images found in magazines and newspapers.


Collage has been a strong component of my work since I graduated from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1966. My career as an artist has focused on a wide variety of themes, such as natural sciences, Native American history, environmental devastation, economic disparity, consumerism and urban street life. Many of these themes have been influenced by my experiences and observations while traveling throughout the US as well as in Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Morocco, Tanzania and Europe.

My art has been exhibited in commercial galleries in San Francisco, Washington, DC, New York and Boston. Museum exhibits of my work have taken place at The ICA, Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Clark University; Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center; and the Bernstein Gallery at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. My work can also be found in public and private collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Smith College Museum; The RISD Museum; Vassar College Museum; The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University; and the De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park. I have received commissions from Bank of America, Boston Children’s Hospital and the MBTA in Boston. I was a finalist in Painting for The Massachusetts Council on Arts and Humanities and for the Bunting Award at Harvard University.

In addition to my studio work, I have taught drawing and painting at Harvard University, Wheelock College, Massachusetts College of Art and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


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Pussy Riot
53″x71″; acrylic paint, fabric, plastic tape; 2016

Spoiled Brats
53″x71″; acrylic paint, fabric, paper; 2013

53″x72″; acrylic paint and fabric; 2014

Smile in Every Bite
96″x24″; paper; 2018