Two sculptures by Jesús Bautista Moroles to be dedicated May 3 at Rice


Jeff Falk

Two sculptures by Jesús Bautista Moroles to be dedicated May 3 at Rice

HOUSTON – (April 29, 2016) – Rice University will dedicate “Musical Stele” and “Waves Column,” two permanent installations by acclaimed Texas sculptor Jesús Bautista Moroles, May 3. The installations were previously on long-term loan to the university.

"Waves Column." Photos courtesy of Rice Public Art

“Waves Column.” Photos by Paul Hester

Moroles’ granite sculptures are both installed on the grounds of the Cohen House, a central campus gathering place for the Rice community and alumni, located at 6100 Main St. The dedication ceremony will be closed to the public and the media, but interested media are welcome to schedule a time to view the installations by e-mailing

“These works, both corporeal and monumental at once, reveal our relationship with the natural world through a formal reworking of granite’s inherent qualities,” said Caroline Walker, associate director of Rice Public Art. “Moroles’ enjoyment in transforming granite, and leaving its raw original state, is evident in both works, which are strong examples of the late artist’s recent work.”

“Waves Column,” 2003, installed outdoors in the Cohen House courtyard, presents itself through a rhythmic, undulating form, as its name suggests. “Musical Stele,” 2004, of a more intimate scale, is installed in the Cohen House lobby and takes a wholly different approach in its rigid staccato form, punctuated by an absence of granite and finely carved horizontal keys.

The acquisition of Moroles’ work was made possible through a gift to Rice by alumnus Rick “Ricky Ray” Behrend, a Houston arts patron, who graduated from Rice in 1977. Behrend has also extended long-term loans of several other artworks on the Rice campus.

"Musical Stele."

“Musical Stele.”

Moroles’ sculptures will complement other sculptures in Rice’s public art collection, which features noted works by artists such as Jaume Plensa, James Surls and Michael Heizer.

Born in Corpus Christi in 1950, Moroles came to prominence in the 1980s, becoming known for his large-scale granite sculptures. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at North Texas State University and subsequently held an apprenticeship with renowned sculptor Luis Jiménez. In 1980 Moroles traveled to Italy, where he worked in the quarries in Pietrasanta. During his lifetime Moroles completed numerous public and private commissions nationwide, one of the most celebrated being the Houston Police Officers Memorial, a series of inverted pyramid forms, in 1990. Moroles’ works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the National Museum of American Art Smithsonian Institute, among many other institutions.

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About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.