John Morse is a self-taught artist with nearly 40 years of exhibition history in galleries and art centers across the United States as well as Europe with a major concentration in street art, sculptural installation, visual poetry, mobiles and collage.
Recent installations include Far, an exhibition of mobiles at Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona, Spain. The project featured 21 mirrored cubes, each etched with images and biographical data of an important figure from more than a thousand years of Catalan history.
As part of the installation, Arts Santa Monica’s outer terrace overlooking Barcelona’s famed Ramblas featured a large mirrored cube with three portraits off local heroes who were killed in the Spanish Civil War by Fascist forces. The cube, installed on en pointe on a tall spire, spun in the wind and bounced ambient light.
The exhibit’s title, Far, the Catalan word for “lighthouse,” refers to the cube as both a shining light and, for those who examine them closely, a beacon of inspiration. Following the exhibition’s close, the mobiles were re-installed at the library of the Universitat de Barcelona, the ancient city’s oldest institute of higher education where they remain on display.
In 2011 created Curbside Haiku, a series of street signs commissioned by the New York City of Department of Transportation using poetry in Spanish and English and imaging to stress critical issues of safety. Half the signs feature poetry in text, half feature poetry embedded within accompanying QR codes. The installation remains on view at 144 intersections across the five boroughs. In 2012 the New York Municipal Art Society honored the project with the Brendan Gill Prize.
Served 15 years on the board of directors of Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City from 1986-2000 as this public space was converted from a garbage-strewn landfill into the international sculpture center it is today. Many years as a community volunteer working and advocating for the arts, environmental defense, LGBT rights and childhood education.