Jesús Moroles is the artist of the moment following the recent unveiling of his "Granite Aspens," the centerpiece of the brand-new Carol and Don Dickinson Sculpture Garden at Foothills Art Center in Golden (see review). To coincide with that event, Artyard Contemporary Sculpture (1251 South Pearl Street, 303-777-3219) is presenting Jesús Moroles: small sculptures. It's an intimate little show that makes the perfect companion outing to "Granite Aspens," though it's quite a drive from south Denver to Golden.
While Moroles is best known for his large outdoor pieces, it's amazing how well his concepts work when scaled down for indoor floors or even tabletop models. Despite their size, these smaller pieces have a monumental quality, as well as the same kind of interesting surface effects as the big ones.
Moroles obviously loves the look of tool marks on worked stone, as his pieces are covered with gouges, channels and ruts. Many of the sculptures at Artyard show this off, including "Black Interlocking," in which lines are drilled into the rough-hewn sides and in an interweaving pattern of zigzags on the highly polished front, where two chunks of black granite come together. There's also the more orderly corduroy effect on the front of "Ellipse," a stele in Italian red granite.
Jes�s Moroles: small sculptures
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I've always thought of Moroles's style as being formal and serious, so it's surprising to note some playful pieces that are akin to toys. There's "Arc Core Playscape," a wall-hung arc that holds up moveable shapes in multi-colored granites, and the closely related but even more fun-loving "Core Playscape," a stand with moveable stalagmites, again done in multi-colored granites.
I was disappointed that there were no larger Moroles sculptures out in the yard, but there were other things worth taking in, notably a group of marvelous abstract pieces by emerging artist Patrick Marold, who had a solo at Artyard this past summer.
The charming Jesús Moroles at Artyard runs through October 22.