"Joseph McDonnell is clearly a master of what might be called late modern sculpture

cubist/constructivist complexity and an expressionistic sense of drama.  Their surface richness suggests a painter’s sensibility—but there is much more to them than their stylistic subtlety.  To take a cue from the title of one of his most monumental works, "The Second Gates of Paradise", 2003, they are about faith in the possibility of perfection in an imperfect and unperfectable world.  They are about the second coming of paradise after the apocalypse…The paradox of McDonnell’s sculptures is that they seem to be falling apart and coming together simultaneously."

Donald Kuspit



Joseph McDonnell is an American sculptor whose work ranges in size from small to monumental in materials that include bronze, granite, steel and glass.  His sense of mass and space produce an inner logic in the forms he creates.  He references ancient civilizations with symbolism dealing with the primordial objects of life:  sun, water, columns, arches.  “My works are personal statements of my faith in man’s profound determination to survive.”


McDonnell received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame and also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, and at the Harvard School of Design. He has produced more than 150 major public and private commissions throughout the United States. 

a b o u t   J o e





©2018 Atelier McDonnell


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