Laura Moriarty: Resurfacing

February 7, 2022

Using pigmented beeswax, Laura Moriarty creates sculptures that recall geologic formations. As if dug from the center of the earth, her sculptures resemble scientific samples whose strata, nodules and embedded fragments reveal a history of climate shifts, planetary events and cataclysmic disruptions of the earth. Each layer resurfaces the one below, creating successive tiers that vary in thickness and color, marking new eras, delineating ages, and trapping stories that are part of the time/space continuum. Moriarty, who refers to her sculptures as sculptural paintings, describes her process by using geologic terms such as erosion, compression and friction.

Moriarty’s monotypes are directly related to her sculptural paintings not only visually, but also by process. Always aware of the environment and the fragility of the eco-system in which we live and work, she recycles and repurposes materials. In an interview with Frank Juarez, she noted, “…I make monotypes that are a by-product of my sculptural paintings. I use a heated metal plate to shape my sculptures. When done carefully, this can produce finely detailed paint trails as the mass of striated wax slides along the hot plate. I recognized this as an opportunity to use the piece-in-process as a mark making tool and began capturing these mini-landslides on paper as another way of recording process and time.”

Seeing the monotypes and sculptural paintings together, the viewer can explore the range of Moriarty’s work, which is intimately connected not only aesthetically, but also by process.

Marjorie Frankel Nathanson
Executive Director

Show Your Support

In addition to inspiring people with our classes, we spark imaginations with world-class art installed on our terrace and in our galleries. We maintain the beautiful stone mill that deepens your ties with the past and provide a gathering place for your family and friends on the Toshiko Takaezu Terrace. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation so that we may continue educating, challenging, and inspiring community through the arts.

The Hunterdon Art Museum is barrier-free and accessible to people who use wheelchairs. Patrons who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired may contact the Museum through the New Jersey Relay Service at (TTY) 1 (800) 852-7899. Visit our Accessibility page for complete information.

Programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Hyde and Watson Foundation; The Large Foundation; and The Holt Foundation, along with other corporations, foundations, and individuals. 

Back To Virtual Resources

More Virtual Resources