"Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed."

Khalil Gibran


2008, hand-carved wood and paper-mâché, 6” x 13”

The sculpture is inspired by Herbert Pretel who, while walking through the streets of New York's East Village in the late 1980s, found a wooden chair on the sidewalk and stuffed it into the branches of a nearby tree. That indelible memory is translated here into a more abrupt statement.

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"The most authentic expression of historical Surrealist practice, however, is to be found in a thematic juxtaposition that includes John Morse's own 2008 maquette of a chair balanced atop a sawn-off tree stump. Morse's work strikes resonance with Carlos Solis's 2010 painting of a similar chair-and-stump arrangement, above which a bird is delivering an egg to a waiting nest as a small child watches from the ground.

Seeing this painting, Morse told Solis, "I made a sculpture of this painting before you painted it." It is a moment that could have come from André Breton's Nadja or from Louis Aragon's eyewitness reports of uncanny coincidences. It utterly transforms two works that otherwise would be simply additional iterations of familiar surrealist tropes."

Review, "Art imitates life in The Surrealist Next Door at Wm Turner," Jerry Cullum, burnaway.org