Doug Moran

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Doug Moran
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Born
Douglas Ray Moran

May 21, 1949
Allegan, Michigan, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
EducationMaster of Fine Arts, Western Michigan University 1974
Alma materWestern Michigan University
OccupationPainter, sculptor, pilot

Doug Moran (born May 21, 1949) is an American painter, sculptor, and pilot whose work is associated with conceptual minimalism. Notable sight-specific works include large-scale constructed installations coined WALLSCAPE PAINTINGS or simply, WALLSCAPES, commissioned from 1975 to 1992. The term wallscape conveys an idea of modern industrial and residential complexes under construction in rapid-growth areas, replacing landscape. Such works explore the impact of the built environment on the human experience, manifesting themes of concealment, revelation, logic, reason, and heritage.

Early life

Doug Moran was born in Allegan, Michigan, to parents Horace and Orpha of Irish and German descent. He has one older sibling, Michael Lee. Their home in rural Otsego was over 100 years old when the family purchased it along with approximately 200 acres of woodland and cultivated farmland.

Family members in various trades afforded him a rich background and knowledge of mechanics and carpentry. An early interest in flight led him to designing, building and flying model planes. In a review of Moran’s work in 1978, LA Times art critic Suzanne Muchnic describes “as a woodworker, he’s a virtuoso” and continues to describe him as a “restrained intellectual”. The restraint was a result of his heritage and carpenter’s logic.

Moran enrolled in nearby Western Michigan University with sights set on engineering and product design, specifically automotive design. However, early coursework in drawing and design in the department of fine arts redirected and defined his aspiration of becoming a fine artist. He became immersed in the activities of the Avant-garde, relating to conceptualism and abstract expressionism.

Moran accepted a two year graduate fellowship at Western Michigan University and under the tutelage of professor Curtis Rhodes, was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in 1974. Moran accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship at Miami-Dade Community College (MDCC, now Miami-Dade College) in 1975.

Miami, FL: 1975

Moran’s work was well received in Miami. Betty Corcoran, of the Corcoran and Greenberg Gallery (Coral Gables) installed his first one-man exhibition outside of academia. His mixed media work, MCRP/FILTER PATCH, won the 17th annual Hortt Memorial Competition and Exhibition at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art. This exhibition was juried by Leon Anthony Arkus, Director of the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art. Following works by Moran were embraced by collectors and critics, leading to him being awarded commission by GSA Art and Architecture for the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, where he created SOUTHEAST WALLSCAPE/WESGATE.

Orange County, CA - 1978

Moran was commissioned by Standard Concrete Materials in Santa Ana, CA to design and execute INDUSTRIAL FAÇADE for their new office building. Also, he was provided studio space in Costa Mesa, CA which he eventually expanded and altered as a live/work space. Moran extended his leave from the Florida college to two years, returning to teach the winter semester in 1980, prior to resigning from his tenured position to return to California. During this time, he was showing paintings and drawings with Jan Turner Gallery (Venice, CA), Marti Koplin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Gloria Luria Gallery (Miami Beach, FL), Modernism (San Francisco, CA), Jack Rassmussen (Washington D.C.), and others.

The Standard Concrete Materials piece was completed in 1979. At this time, a relationship was formed with James Barton of Barton Development. Moran designed the façades at the entrance to Coronado Business Park while simultaneously working on Wallscape paintings which were exhibited widely in Orange County group exhibitions. His work existed within permanent collections of Joseph Hirschhorn, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Miami, and the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art. Works completed during this time draw parallels between the structure of shelter and the structure of human experiences that together comprise one’s sense of place.

Moran returned to Miami in 1979 to teach courses during the winter semester at MDCC. He also had solo exhibitions at Gloria Luria Gallery, Jack Rasmussen Gallery in Washington, D.C. and completed various commissioned works. After the semester concluded, he resigned his tenured teaching position to return to his warehouse studio in Costa Mesa. It was around this time that he became a faculty member of Claremont graduate school where he taught multimedia, sculpture and drawing courses. He also was a visiting professor at UC Irvine and UC Fullerton.

Moran’s sculpture, El Reposo Abandonado, was featured at California State University, Fullerton in The House that Art Built, a project supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. From Moran’s artist’s statement, “I’m trying to make things as inspiring and open for raw experience as daily living… to paint or construct a potentially novel, thought provoking environment/adventure for myself and the viewer… there’s a bit of ‘for the hell of it’ in all fine works of art.”

Los Angeles, CA & The Inland Empire - 1983

Moran was run out of his warehouse by the Costa Mesa fire department for living and working out of his space in 1983. He moved to another warehouse in the Inland Empire in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. It was around this time he started on VINTNER'S PAUSE, a massive site-specific sculpture inspired by the history that was wiped from this land during the 1970’s as a result of industrialization. This was a massive effort which he enlisted help from Claremont graduate students.

At this time, Moran created VALLEY CHOP, a multimedia installation at the Wignal Museum gallery inspired by the rapid industrialization of the Inland Empire.

Orcas Island, WA: 1996-2000

Moran stepped away from his role as an exhibiting artist. In 1998, he established himself as a dealer in small aircraft, representing American Champion Aircraft Corporation in California, Arizona and Nevada. As such, he rekindled an old acquaintance with artist James Turrell, subsequently ordering a custom scout for him. Together, they piloted the new airplane from the factory in Wisconsin to Turell’s home in Flagstaff, AZ.

Bradenton, FL: Present day

In 2000, Moran met and began a relationship with Jeanette (Wahlbrink) Ripp. Together, they focused on building a long time denied family life. They married in Corona del Mar on October 17, 2004 and bought a home in Bradenton, FL.

Moran has been making art in his Bradenton studio without exhibiting since 2000. In 2021, Jeannette was diagnosed with ALS and he served as her full time caregiver until her death on April 16th, 2023. Moran has established the Jeanette Walbrink Moran scholarship, and two, to provide an opportunity for solo exhibitions for emerging artists.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

1988

  • Works Gallery - Long Beach, CA

1983

  • “Surroundings,” TLK Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA

1982

  • “Recent Drawings,” Gloria Luria Gallery, Miami, FL

1981

  • “Doug Moran, Wallscapes 1976-1981,” University of S. California, Los Angeles, CA
  • “Wallscapes: Doug Moran,” Jack Rasmussen Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1980

  • “Doug Moran: Wallscape Painting,” Gloria Luria Gallery, Miami, FL

1975

  • “Doug Moran: Works on Paper,” Corcoran-Greenberg Gallery, Coral Gables, FL

Selected Group Exhibitions:

1983

  • Janus gallery - Venice, CA

1982

  • “Visiting Artist,” Claremont Graduate College, CA
  • Gensler and Associates, Architects, Irvine, CA
  • “Gallery Artists,” Koplin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1981

  • Norton Gallery and School of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

1980

  • “Drawings of Southern California,” University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

1979

  • “Our Own Artists: Art in Orange County,” Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA
    • “Paintings,” Janus Gallery, Venice, CA
    • “Drawings,” Jack Rasmussen Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1978

  • Dade County Public Library, Miami, Miami Lakes, Cutler Ridge, FL

1977

  • “Permanent Collection,” Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL

1976

  • Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, Miami, FL
  • Corcoran-Greenberg Gallery, Coral Gables, FL
  • The Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL
  • Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Pawley Gallery, Miami, FL

1975

  • Art and Cultural Center of Hollywood, FL
  • 17th Annual Hortt Memorial Competition & Exhibition, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL

1974

  • The Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL
  • Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, Coral Gables, FL
  • Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL

Selected Public Collections:

  • National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C
  • Horowitz Brothers Trust, Santa Ana, CA
  • Commonwealth Electric, Lincoln, NE
  • Atlantic Richfield Company, Los Angeles, CA
  • Dade County Public Libraries, Miami, FL
  • Metropolitan Museum and Art Center, Coral Gables, FL
  • Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Norton Gallery and School of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Southeast Banking Corporation, Miami, FL
  • Joseph Hirschhorn, Greenwich, CT
  • Bank of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA
  • Citicorp Bank, New York, NY

References

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