The Reductionist Revolution is not Being Televized

It is a sad fact that many an art-lover loves stone… but will never entertain the notion of acquiring marble sculpture for fear of hefty shipping costs, an invasion of heavy lifting equipment, ever-expanding work crews, and spiraling costs as the task of mounting a piece of artwork takes on an aspect more appropriate to that of a small building project. And even then, once in place, a sculpture weighing several hundred pounds is no easy proposition to move.   Consequently, when looking to purchase artwork for their home, due to its cumbersome weight and density, stone sculpture is often dismissed as outdated, outmoded and altogether ‘out of the question’ by people who love stone every bit as much as I do.

'Reverse Equation', 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble.

‘Reverse Equation’, 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado Yule Marble.


For those unfamiliar with recent developments in stone sculpture I introduce the concept of contemporary 21st Century Reductionist Sculpture.   My own particular brand, Curvilinear, takes the form of ‘Jewelry for the Home’ in that it is easily transported from one room to the next and serves to adorn the home environment as it actively absorbs and projects any and all available light;  befitting of a jewel.

Magellan, Colorado Yule Marble, Hand Carved Marble Bowls @

Magellan, The Maiden Collection, Colorado Yule Marble. photo Steve Mundinger

I have never felt particularly comfortable with the ‘special status’ stone sculpture finds itself in due to the often excessive weights involved compared to other artistic disciplines.   My overriding goal as a sculptor is to enable and facilitate sculpture’s smooth transition from artistic ‘outsider’ and to enable it,  for the first time,  to take it’s place within the mainstream of the art community.

'Finger Bowl' by MARTIN COONEY, Colorado Yule Marble, 1314 Winter Collection

‘Finger Bowl’, 1314 Winter Collection.

As a marble sculptor I find I am increasingly absorbed, some might say obsessed, by the results gained when I free my sculpture of its excess bulk, to the point where on completion I myself am able to pick it off my banker and carry it out of the studio.    “Liberation” has always registered as a favorite word of mine and in ‘liberating’ so much excess material from my sculpture I am able to present marble in a 21st Century light –  a whole new light in fact,  both figuratively and literally.

'Eve', The Maiden Collection.

‘Eve’, The Maiden Collection.

In creating my Curvilinear Reductionist Marble Sculpture; ‘Jewelry for the Home’, my chosen tools reflect the many technical advancements achieved within the stone industry over recent years, consequently much of the curvilinear sculpture presented here at could not have been carved prior to very recent diamond blade, and abrasive pad, technological advancements.

It is with a great deal of pride that I am able to say that I myself carve and produce all my own sculpture, from inception, material selection, through all the various stages of production and on to final finish.    I am therefore able to continually refine and explore the vast array of exciting new carving options provided by the recent surge in hand held diamond blade and abrasive pad technology, as mentioned above.

‘The Maiden Collection’ and ‘1314 Winter Collection’ and the ‘Autumn of 14 Collection’ were all three split and carved from Colorado Yule Marble, quarried just 22 miles as the crow flies from my Woody Creek studio.

Yule Marble Quarry

Yule Marble Quarry

The first of my Limited Edition series of marble sculptures, ‘The Maiden Collection’, consisted of 41 individual sculptures split and carved from a single ten ton slab of Colorado Yule Marble. Not only did this body of work open my eyes to the possibility of working in alliance with the stone, as opposed to imposing my will upon it, but as I began to work my way through the enormous and imposing slab I was quite blissfully unaware of the ancient, complex and fascinating world that was about to present itself.

Splitting the Maiden Collection Yule Marble Slab

In splitting the stone as opposed to slicing into it I unwittingly entered into an alliance that was to produce the bowls and waves, monsters and maids of The Maiden Collection.

These are truly wonderful times to work in stone.   New techniques, technological advancements, applications and resulting revelations, are opening up a new field of exploration for contemporary sculptors such as myself, and the journey on which we find ourselves is one of unfolding revelation and unending discovery.   I personally cannot think of a better time to be an independent sculptor (Rogue Carver) than right at this present moment in time… which is saying something in a profession (stone carving) stretching back to the dawn of civilization.

Colorado Yule Marble: 'Pilgrim' steps into the Standing Stone Circle




I don't think I was ever quite the same after this.


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