Mark Mulroney: Wet With Glee

January 15 – March 14, 2009
Artspace, New Haven, CT

A prolific artist whose work defies easy categorization, Mark Mulroney borrows familiar imagery from popular culture and turns it on its head.

Artspace invited Mulroney to create a site-specific work for the main gallery. In response, Mulroney painted a vibrant mural filled with recognizable imagery drawn from everyday life that has been manipulated into a series of quirky pictures. Large-scale hands appear, along with sections of trees, and churning waves. Horses saunter off to nowhere in particular, and stretches of black paint are scattered throughout. Warm pinks, oranges, and reds are counterbalanced by icy blues, greens and solid voids of white.

Equal parts graffiti, illustration, and collage, Mulroney’s mural integrates the gallery’s architecture into the composition, and extends the flat, two-dimensional surface of the wall into volumetric form. Pictorial and architectural space coalesce in Mulroney’s cardboard structure–which can be accessed and traversed by crawling on all fours–that bisects the gallery. Recalling childhood endeavors of building sofa forts and tree-houses—the ultimate places of discovery and escape—Mulroney’s construction blends sculpture with architecture, interior with exterior, and fantasy with reality.

For this exhibition, Mulroney has also produced a new series of collages that appear in digital form for the catalogue.