Jesús Moroles Tears Granite at the LSU Museum of Art
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Museum of Art, located on the fifth floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge, will present the exhibition “Tearing Granite: Jesús Moroles” from Jan. 22-April 29. The exhibition features more than 35 free-standing and wall-mounted granite sculptures, as well as maquettes made in paper and paper pulp, by the internationally acclaimed, Texas-based artist Jesús Moroles.
Second only to diamonds in its level of hardness, granite is known for its endless household and construction uses. Few have ventured to use the stone to produce fine art. Moroles, however, does just that.
Moroles employs untraditional carving techniques. He uses a diamond saw almost like a chisel, to painstakingly cut through the dense stone. Pushing the saw up and out repeatedly creates slices through the layers of granite. He then lets the stone break on its own, creating a contrast between rough and smooth surfaces.
Although Moroles seems to possess the extraordinary ability to make stone concede to his every desire, he admits he does not have full control over the material. Moroles claims that he struggles with granite, but suggests that this very resistance entices him to work with the medium.
Some of Moroles’ sculptures recall large prehistoric monolithic stones, such as at Stonehenge. More modestly sized figures, like “Musical Fish,” reaffirm the presence of nature within the stone.
“Moroles’ sculptures are celebrated for their serenity, which strike a delicate balance between nature and man-made,” said Tom Livesay, executive director of the LSU Museum of Art. “His process may at first seem simple, but he has a deep understanding of the stone. He finds ‘personality’ within each piece and extracts it through a series of deliberate movements.”
Natalie Mault, curator at the LSU Museum of Art, noted that “Tearing Granite: Jesús Moroles” will provide a different experience from most museum exhibitions.
“Visitors will be encouraged to touch, explore and even sit on some of his works,” said Mault. A giant chessboard set made entirely of granite, for example, will command the space of one gallery floor, inviting patrons to play a game.
This exhibition is supported by a grant from the Louisiana State Arts Council through the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, The Turner Industries Fund, Visit Baton Rouge and the Louisiana Office of Tourism.
LSU College of Art & Design Distinguished Lecture Series: Jesús Moroles
Jan. 18 – 5 p.m. – LSU Art & Design Building First Floor Lecture Hall, Room 103
The LSU College of Art & Design Distinguished Lecture Series presents sculptor Jesús Moroles.
Tearing Granite: Jesús Moroles
Jan. 22 – 1 p.m. - LSU Museum of Art, Fifth Floor
Gallery Talk: Jesús Moroles
Jan. 22 – 2 p.m. – LSU Museum of Art, Fifth Floor
Sculptor Jesús Moroles works in granite, which he calls “the heart and core of the universe.” He approaches each granite block without preconception. Learn about this incredible contemporary artist as he shares with us his art and his methods in the newest exhibition, “Tearing Granite.”
Insider’s View of Tearing Granite
Feb. 5 – 2 p.m. – LSU Museum of Art, Fifth Floor
Free Admission. Any exhibition has its challenges, but an exhibition involving granite sculptures weighing more than 1,000 pounds can be extremely challenging. Discover “Tearing Granite,” as the curator reveals the insider’s view of exhibition planning.
Museum After Dark: The Game of Chess
Feb. 16 – Time: TBA – LSU Museum of Art, Fifth Floor
Jesus Moroles’ stunning, large-scale granite chessboard is a featured work in the exhibition “Tearing Granite.” Chess has inspired artists from different times and cultures to create beautiful works of art. Join the LSU Chess Club for a game commonly associated with strategy and now with art.