News & Press Releases
For Immediate Release


Story Photo
The just-installed sculpture of James Surls and installation crew
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Our Newest Sculpture Addition: James Surls

Rockport Center for the Arts is proud to welcome “White Walking Flower” a recent work by James Surls that exhibits a sprouting molecular style, a more recent trend in his work. Surls always seems to make reference to organic forms and structures, whether microscopic or astronomical. This piece engages the imagination and a sense of playful curiosity, as if it rose out of the bay and came to rest on the Art Center lawn.

The piece is constructed from powder-coated steel, and is the only white sculpture James Surls has ever made. The project was made possible by The Madison Charitable Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and the studio of Jesús Moroles.

A dedication will be set for late October or November.


More about James Surls

(born April 19, 1943) is an American modernist sculptor. Born in East Texas, he earned a BS from Sam Houston State University and an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  He taught at Southern Methodist University in the early 1970s. In 1998, he moved from Splendora, Texas to Carbondale, Colorado.

He is known for his large unpainted wooden sculptures that have images burned into them. He often adds bent steel wires. In 2009, five Surls bronze and steel bouquets were set up on Park Avenue by the New York City Parks Public Art Program.

No other artist of Surls's generation has had a greater impact upon the development of Texas as a center of vibrant creativity. At the same time, it confirms Surls's standing within the contemporary international art world as a revolutionary who has expanded the boundaries of traditional sculpture while maintaining a high degree of aesthetic and intellectual quality.” –University of Texas Press


Surls’s work is in many private and public collections, including:

Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY)

Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY)

Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo (Mexico City)

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas (Venezuela)

Stedelijk Museum(Amsterdam)

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Dallas Museum of Art

Museum of Fine Arts Houston


A major exhibition of his work, “From the Heartland” was held in 2009 at the Grace Museum in Abilene, Texas, with an accompanying catalogue still available from thegracemuseum.org.