“Jesus Moroles,” Houston Regularmain

Jesus Moroles


The internationally esteemed sculptor, Jesus Moroles, although brought up in Dallas lives and works in Rockport, Texas, that is when he’s not on his way to Shanghai to finalize designs for a sculpture, lighting and landscaping commission or to Santa Fe for a one-person celebratory 200-year anniversary exhibition (2010) at the Mexican Embassy. At the entrance to the park in Shanghai (2011) will be a 50 foot high, 7 feet in diameter Chinese granite column resting in a 200-foot wide running river.

Born in 1950, he received his BFA from the University of North Texas where in the office of the head (one of the finest art departments in the state) hang posters/pictures of their famous graduate. After NTSU, Moroles apprenticed with the late Luis Jimenez and studied in Italy before returning home to purchase his first large diamond saw and make a life-term commitment to create sculpture exclusively in his chosen medium, granite. Each of his distinctive granite sculptures whether for an indoor or outdoor installation, the artist imagines and creates a captivating environment clearly perceived as a space of meditation. Granite is a stone of great density, hardness and weight; the skillful combination of cutting and polishing techniques aptly never loses the natural presence of the stone.

In just one year, 2005, Dallas honored Jesus with three major retrospectives at: the Crow Center, Dallas Museum of Art and for the opening exhibit at the Latino Cultural Center which in 2010 recognized him with another retrospective. Jesus has over 2,000 works in China, Egypt, the U.S. and Europe. Museums collecting his sculptures include the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum in the Smithsonian, the Meadows, the Fort Worth Modern Art, and at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. where he served on the board for 12 years. His prestigious awards include the National Medal of Art in 2008. Because of his celebrity status, he’s been invited to the White House four times, the latest visit being in 2010.

Besides being in corporate and private collections around the globe, his art has been the subject of reviews in publications the caliber of ARTNews, Artforum, Newsweek, Time and The New York Times.

A major early public commission includes an unforgettable landmark true art travelers will recognize, the 64-ton 22 foot tall monolith, Lapstrake (1987) located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His massive, rarely unnoticed Houston Police Officers Memorial (1992) 120 feet by 120 feet has a 22 foot elevation from its tallest point and is made with Texas pink granite. In 1995 Moroles completed a major commission for the Belo Corporation in downtown Dallas.

Moroles’ reflecting pool for Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum’s Sculpture Garden (2009) resides in front of the new Sir Norman Thomas designed museum (the architect of the Winspear Opera House in Dallas). Completed in 2009, this pool measures 118 feet long, 25 feet wide and 9 inches deep. On the floor of the pool is a topographical map of the Missouri River created from some 184 slabs of black granite weighing a total of 50 tons. The granite is shaped and placed to leave a meandering trough representing an aerial view of the epic three year trek of Lewis and Clark ending in 1806. The museum’s 400 pencil, watercolor, ink renderings are the “gem” of its American West holdings. The water in the pool fills and drains on a timer set to demonstrate the ebb and flow of the river’s real height in the seasons. On the lower level, willing participants can walk on the granite slabs forming the banks; a heating system is there for winter months. One and a half foot square columns 12 feet tall rise up to show water bubbling from the top to the base. The pool ends with a fountain, 12 feet high by 26 feet wide, and four inches deep set in a concrete base with water cascading down the wall.