Joseph McDonnell at Parkfield Fire Station, October 2006
Combustion is a dynamic and luminous stainless steel sculpture, 8? x 8? x 8? in size. The work is composed of interlocking geometrical forms, a trademark of artist Joseph McDonnell, expressing the forces which occur in combustion. As combustion is often the cause of dangerous fumes, McDonnell felt his sculpture a proper symbol to be located outside a fire station as a reminder of the importance of the firefighters inside ready to rush to the aid of citizens in need. In addition, the material and form of the sculpture complement the architecture of the fire station, unifying the grounds and the building.
Joseph McDonnell began his career as a figurative sculptor studying under renowned Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic and at the Academia in Florence, Italy. Through time, his work has evolved into geometric neo-constructivist shapes ranging in size from amulets to monuments. McDonnell?s portfolio also includes wall reliefs, painted metal mobiles and more recently a series in blown glass called Ice Cubes.
McDonnell has created over 150 works for public spaces such as the Alba Rosa Fountain in Silver Spring, Maryland and the Great Lakes Fountain in front of the Milwaukee Public Museum. He has received numerous commissions from corporations like IBM, Microsoft and General Electric. Additionally, McDonnell designed the World Health Award for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Spirit of Jazz Award for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Joseph McDonnell was born in Detroit and earned his BFA and MFA from the University of Notre Dame. He lived in Florence, Italy for five years and returned to live in New York. For the last ten years, he has made Seattle his home. McDonnell exhibits regularly with galleries in New York, Connecticut, Florida, New Mexico and Washington.