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Exhibition of new wall sculptures and drawings by Norman Mooney on view at Waterhouse & Dodd Contemporary
Norman Mooney, Golden Sun No. 2 (detail). Waterhouse & Dodd Contemporary.

By: Corban Walker

NEW YORK, NY.- Waterhouse & Dodd Contemporary, New York announced ‘Norman Mooney: New Works’ an exhibition of new wall sculptures and drawings which explore the natural world through a physical indulgence in the process of making. It is Mooney’s first solo show with the gallery.

Norman Mooney’s sculptures and drawings explore the natural world through a physical indulgence into the process of making. He fabricates giant “flowers”, precarious “seeds” and colorful “stars” from cast aluminum and glass. He draws with a flame torch and the results are at once meditative yet ephemeral, his sculptures fierce yet tangible.

These contradicting parallels are the essence of how Norman addresses what lies between the physical and the metaphysical. The sculptures search for the inertial frame of reference that examines the fundamental nature of all reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, appearance and substance.

Norman introduces a kinetic interaction with the viewer, which is in constant flux, evolving, repeating, appearing and disappearing in the densely assembled works. He directly asserts a relationship of trust with the materials he utilizes, catapulting the viewer into a heightened sense of awareness, while at the same time evoking an intimacy with nature. He invites the viewer to experience the floating presence of the physical form where natural light falling onto the works facilitates an existing presence. Norman challenges our relationship with nature by referencing the universal synergy that he finds in the space between volume and void.

The recent works, laser cut in stainless steel and bronze sheet appear as explosions originating from hand drawn markings. The circular repetitions evolve into layer upon layer of cantilevered jagged plains mounted onto a wall. Again light and shadows play games with our perception of space and object. As Norman suggests, “What is there is the key to what isn’t”. As with the other work, these wall reliefs appear to be constantly changing, constantly growing. The element of presence in his sculptures changes and shifts in each location whether installed inside or outside offering multiple readings of each individual piece.

He is not afraid to push the boundaries when choosing the materials for his sculptures. Combining a meticulous calculated cast steel faceted hemispherical core with dozens of sharply pointed cast glass spikes, he manages to create a sublime constellation. Light refracts beyond the extent of the physical form of these glass “stars” drenching the wall with what appears to be visceral watermarks.

Just as there is no beginning or no end in approaching Norman’s sculptural works, his carbon drawings breathe continually in a way similar to Sol LeWitt’s pencil wall drawings. These works are made by controlling a gas torch flame over an aluminum panel and trusting the nature of smoke resting on metal. The simple gesture and reliance on the result demonstrates Norman’s pursuit of encapsulating the present moment in the endeavor.

Norman Mooney was born in Dublin Ireland in 1971. He studied at the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork and completed his BFA at the National College of Art in Dublin in 1992. He then received the distinguished honor of participating in the Third Degree program at the Irish Museum of Modern Art from 1992 to 1993. In 1994 he relocated to New York City and has been exhibiting locally and internationally for more than 16 years. Recent exhibitions include, 1, 2, 3 Volume at the Siqueiros Museum in Mexico City, Beyond Borders in Abi Dhabi and Close your Eyes at Martine Chaisson in New Orleans.

Norman makes works that are at once physical and metaphysical. His works explore the elemental and cyclical synergies of nature. Materiality, pattern, scale and experience are key concerns within his practice. Norman makes sculpture, interior and exterior installations, drawings and works on paper, his methodology is one of experiementation and process with materials such as smoke, glass, steel and resin. In 2000 he set up WorkSpace11 in new York where he works with a team of studio technicians, architects and engineers.

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