Artist Sarah Alice Moran’s debut solo exhibition at Smoke The Moon gallery in Santa Fe features imagery of mythological creatures, symbolic figures, and explosive compositions.
Sarah Alice Moran: Night Feeding
April 15–May 15, 2022
Smoke The Moon, Santa Fe
Smoke The Moon presents its first solo exhibition of 2022 by artist Sarah Alice Moran. The exhibition kicks off the gallery’s summer programming of exclusively solo exhibitions by Will Bruno, GL Richardson, and Jieun Reiner, at its new location at 616 1/2 Canyon Road. Moran’s exhibition is also the artist’s debut one-person show and was conceived as a collaboration with Good Naked (@good_naked), the artist’s New York gallery. Brooklyn-based Moran is completing a three-week residency in Santa Fe this April where she is working on new paintings and works on paper that will be included in the exhibition.
In Moran’s universe, there is darkness in rainbows, comfort in the presence of ghosts, and an entire bestiary of supernatural familiars. Moran aims to redefine power and strength by highlighting moments of intuition, communication, and contemplation. The work is witchy in the ancient, alchemical, abject-feminine sense, yet it is grounded in contemporaneity with influences ranging from Balthus to Scooby-Doo.
The exhibition’s title comes from Night Feeding, a painting inspired by the Capitoline Wolf and the story of Romulus and Remus and their violent competition. Instead of the two boys being reared by the wolf, Moran reunites the mother with her cub. Moran’s works often pay homage to these kinds of private experiences in which figures and creatures commune and self-reflect. As viewers become familiar with the lexicon of visual vocabulary that populates these paintings, they are left to puzzle each symbol’s role and its myriad functions.
Moran references formalists and spiritualists like Hilma af Klint and invokes compositions that guide the viewer toward a central offering. She approaches her creative with precision and openness as she leaves space for imagery to populate each scene over the course of its making. Not all symbols or forms are preconceived, and her visual improvisation requires responsiveness throughout focused periods of production. The artist often references tarot in her work—in particular, Pamela Colman Smith’s illustration of the Strength card, which depicts a woman gently caressing a lion around its muzzle. Strength is portrayed here not with physical force but with intuition and kindness.
The exhibition opens April 15 and is on view through May 15 at Smoke The Moon, 616 1/2 Canyon Road, Santa Fe. The artist will be in conversation with Smoke The Moon gallery manager Alison Nitkiewicz on April 23, 2 pm MT, which is open to the public.
Sarah Alice Moran (b. 1982, New York) received a BA from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston. Her work has been exhibited in group shows at Pratt Institute, Monya Rowe Gallery, 1969 Gallery, Field Projects, and C24 Gallery, among others. Moran has completed residencies at the Anderson Ranch Art Center in Colorado, the Wassaic Project in New York, and Can Serrat in Spain. Her work has been featured in publications including Brooklyn Magazine and ArtMaze. She is represented by Good Naked Gallery in New York. She lives and works in Brooklyn.