Michael James Moran
Binding What's Lost
March 9 - April 14, 2018
Weaving, inverting, book-matching, layering and framing become an act of contemplation in Michael Moran's Binding What's Lost. Moran's distinct bodies of sculpture are tied together through the essential act of questioning our -human- relationships with the natural world: the damage we've done, the history we forget, the beauty we overlook. Through the manipulation and framing of wood, he addresses these losses, and in binding them together readjusts our eyes to perceive the multi-faceted nature of this material: the trees which grow, which once grew.
Binding What's Lost gathers individual compositions in conversation, each recontextualizing a material, a thought, with a single overarching concern.
Tensions between texture and shape and hue are framed; curious moments of arboreal happenstance are set apart. He blends textile and tree in woven panels of wood, each from a dead or dying species, where silk threads follow the specific warp and weft pattern of the burial shroud of Turin. In five frames, the gesture of bookmatching- of mirroring and joining two planes together- generates unique apparitions, figures, from a tree's own history of growth. And in new carvings of his most widely exhibited series, Moran makes a conceptual examination of our cultural history with hand tools and the materials that make them functional forms.
Moran, originally a Kentucky native, has recently found himself firmly planted in the woods of the Hudson Valley of NY after a long stint in Charleston, SC. This life change has given rise to more time and intimate connection with these woods and his work, both furniture and sculpture, and the history and materials that comprise it. This show is the first comprehensive sculpture show since that move.
Moran's sculpture has been a natural outgrowth of Moran Woodworked Furniture, the custom furniture workshop he and his partner, Celia Gibson, have been running since 2004. Moran and Gibson's furniture seeks to remind us where our wood comes from while crafting modern designs using traditional joinery. Their work can be found across North America and Europe, has been featured in Architectural Digest, Dwell, Monocle and Wallpaper and has won the coveted Made in the South award from Garden and Gun Magazine.
His sculpture can likewise be found in public and private collections across the US and Europe, including permanent installations in the Halsey Institute in Charleston, SC and the private collection of the Salvador Dali Museum in Berlin, Germany.
"There are only two lines… The curved line that belongs let's say to God and the straight line that belongs to man." - Pierre Albert-Birot