critical acclaim

Review by Patricia RosoffGRO_7700
December/January 2006


For David Moneypenny, meaning is about the generation of form;
there is an insistent logic to his progressive build-up of it and a
workmanlike delight in the processes of building a work of art. Still,
within his spare, almost mathematical system there is an equally
sensuous abandon when it comes to surface, and in his sculptures,

His artistic vocabulary is at once serious and playful, abstract
and figurative, conceptual and physical—combining ciphers (circles,
squares, and diagonals à la Leonardo da Vinci) with everyday
materials and repeating motifs that he then buries and unburies in a
variety of found and fabricated (but generally nonart) materials. He is
as attentive to where you experience an object from (above, below, or
at eye level) as he is to issues of scale (intimacy or monumentality).

Moneypennyʼs sense of process is a fascinating player in all of
these images. He works from the center outward, burying and
unburying the anchoring image of a five-pointed star in a drizzle of
diaphanous surface decoration, creating a shimmering, pearly
camouflage and building perforated forms in layers that freely march
forward and back from the picture plane.

His approach is direct: He squeezes pigment directly from the
tube, creating the welts of his cross-hatching; he never hides the
underlying grid that supports the diagonal warp and woof of his
drawing. He uses metallic paint (or graphite) to create a silvery sheen
on his surfaces—denying the very surface he inscribes by
rebounding the reflection of his mark-making right back at the viewer.

Ultimately, the end result is part da Vinci, part Sol LeWitt, part
Jasper Johns, part Jackson Pollack—and none of the above. Visually
intriguing, Moneypennyʼs work stands on a somewhat tentative
ground between rationality and expressionism, restrained
methodology and lavish sensuality.