Please join us for the opening reception of Robyn O'Neil: Something Vanished Over Paradise.
*Photo above: Robyn O’Neil, The Black Sea’s Undersong, 2013. Courtesy of Susan Inglett Gallery, NYC. Photo by Kevin Todora.
Thursday, November 02, 2017 @ 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. | Potter Gallery
6:30 pm - Artist Talk with Robyn O'Neil
7:15 pm - Book signing
Celebrating Robyn O'Neil's twenty years of drawing, the works in this exhibition represent those two decades with large-scale graphite drawings and collages accented with pops of color.
O'Neil's large-scale drawings envelop viewers, placing them among thousands of minuscule people and vast surroundings. She invites us into these fantastical worlds, holding our attention even when it is uncomfortable to look. In these works in the exhibition, O'Neil uses a .5 mechanical pencil, a tiny point, to capture immense and foreboding landscapes and the figures that inhabit them.
The most potent example is reminiscent of the work of the 15th Century painter Hieronymus Bosch. The largest and most complex drawing in the exhibition, the triptych Hell, measures fourteen feet long and holds 65,000 figures. O'Neil provides a cautionary tale depicting hell as humans struggling against a menacing environment and cruelly destroying one another.
In her collages, the figures have vanished, and the landscapes are rendered through depths of material and oil pastels. O'Neil acknowledges the influence of modernists Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and Georgia O'Keeffe in these works. Through this change in media and practice, she is creating new worlds, rather than the apocalyptic ones seen in her earlier drawings.
About the Artist
O'Neil was born in Omaha, Nebraska and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. She received her BFA from Texas A&M and was awarded a University of Illinois, Chicago Fellowship in Graduate Studies in Fine Art, as well as graduating from the Werner Herzog's Rogue Film School in Los Angeles. O'Neil is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, an Artadia grant, and the Hunting Prize. Her work was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and can be found in museums throughout the world. 20 Years of Drawing by Robyn O'Neil, the first major monograph of the artist's work, came out in September of 2017.