By: Alyssa Laverda, Assistant to the Directors and Head of Sales
New here at Seraphin Gallery is a sculpture from Joe Mooney’s Three Circles series (figures 1 and 2). This polished stainless steel sculpture was installed in front of the gallery, next to the sidewalk, on April 27, 2015. The Seraphin Gallery is proud and excited that passersby will now be able to enjoy Mooney’s work as much as collectors and gallery goers.
This particular work stands on a pedestal at the height of 60”, and is an elegant construction of cut and welded steel curvature that reflects light and creates shapes in shadow. The artist graduated with an MFA from Alfred University 1980, and has since dedicated himself to creating the physical. Mooney is a local artist that values the stance and gesture in his work, but above all focuses on balance. The inspirations for his more recent creations feature epic myths and fantastical stories that center around the theme of the ‘struggling hero’, much like the protagonist in many a Grecian tragedy.
Fig. 1: Joe Mooney, Untitled, 1999, Stainless steel, 60" x 24" x 16"
Fig. 2: Joe Mooney, (Detail) Untitled, 1999, Stainless steel, 60" x 24" x 16"
Seraphin Gallery has exhibited two different series by Mooney in the last five years. First, a series entitled Prophets in 2012. These sculptures were created from wood and metal, and constructed almost as icons, transcending Louise Bourgeois’ totemic Personages . “The images are distant personages, Ambassadors who have come to visit. They speak as Sages. By their presence, they demand that we ask personal questions and by reflection, we arrive at our answers,” says the artist about Prophets. Seraphin is currently exhibiting a piece from this series in Gallery 2, entitled Hemi created in 2010 (fig. 3).
Last summer, Seraphin featured Mooney’s latest series; Facets. The fragments brought together by the artist are freely cut from steel sheets and then precisely arranged. “While Mooney has completed sculptures in wood, as in his Prophet series, he is drawn to working in steel because of the physicality involved. He prefers to show his cutting edges that serve the reveal the artist’s hand in his works, as well as to create a more tactile appearance. Steel is a more dynamic material, creating an active relationship between shape and space. The lines curve and turn as he creates each piece, resulting in a form that is caught in both space and time,” comments Director Tony Seraphin. From this series, Surround and Junzi (fig. 4&5 respectively) are also currently exhibited in Gallery 2.
Mooney’s work is a member of the permanent collections of the Woodmere Museum of Art, McKenzie Foundation, Moore College of Art, La Salle UAM, Penn State Reading, among others. His work encompasses a subtle form of the symbolism evident in the work of David Smith combined with the sculptural and geometric grace of Ellsworth Kelly. Stay on the lookout for Untitled outside of Seraphin Gallery on 1108 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA.
Fig. 3: Joe Mooney, Hemi, 2010, Oak and steel, 30" x 9" x 9"
Fig. 4: Joe Mooney, Surround, 2014, Stainless steel, 16" x 14" x 15"
Fig. 5: Joe Mooney, Junzi, 2013, Steel, 23" x 16" x 12"
For more information on Seraphin Gallery artist Joe Mooney please click here.