June 9-30, 2018
Los Angeles - "Eyeyouwe", a new body of work by LA-based artist Jane O'Neill, is a network of paintings, sculptures and collages which operate as an installation within an installation, envisioning love, sex and home decor in a post-Earth and possibly post-human environment. Pieces like "Love Triangles (nesting table study)" imagine a future shift in values due to extreme environmental deterioration, when representations of gravity or air might become prized commodities over preciously crafted objects. The geometric elements of the sculpture and its openness can be read as an assemblage of templates for the forms and shapes contained within neighboring collages and paintings. Attached and embedded mirrors cleave light and space into the surfaces of sculptures and reliefs, revealing and reflecting a variety of framed perspectives, such as in Eyeyouwe, from which the show draws its title.
The artist's relationship to the history of painting and interest in comedy as an art form are addressed in "is it a window or a fourth wall?", a wall painting punctuated by collaged elements and a painted three-dimensional object installed on a floating shelf. The object, a repurposed IKEA globe lamp, bears two cartoonishly rendered feminine eyes whose emotional expression seems to change depending on where one stands in relation to its gaze, which appears to be fixed somewhere between the viewer and the image on the wall. The wall painting depicts a man attempting to woo the glowing white spherical object using a flower shaped conspicuously similar in form to the line between the buttocks of the painted female nude on the freestanding panel nearby. The ambiguity of the scene conjures a variety of scenarios: a cliché love triangle between the artist, his work and muse; a cad who uses intimate knowledge of one partner in order to seduce another; a moment of illuminating connection between form and representation themselves.
Representations of the eye vary throughout the exhibition, sometimes fusing symbolic Ancient Egyptian imagery with futuristic stylizations to evoke compressed layers of cultural histories being callously appropriated and consumed, as in "Hathor when she was the eye of Ra (on Long Island)". The two-dimensional reliefs and objects possess a type of monocular vision while binocular vision belongs solely to one three-dimensional object. Other figures and characters are turned away from the viewer, so one may only imagine whether or how they see.
In her work, O'Neill obsesses over the distorted lens through which we attempt to access history and how our aspirations, biases, class and backgrounds are revealed through the objects we surround ourselves with. "Eyeyouwe" extends her thematic fixation with framed synthetic experiences of reality, portraying a possible future for our desires.
"Eyeyouwe" will be on view from June 9-30, 2018. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 9th, from 7-10pm. Viewing hours are on Saturdays from 12-4pm or by appointment.
Jane O'Neill holds a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Yale University. Her installations, sculptures, collages and prints have appeared in exhibitions at commercial galleries, nonprofit and academic institutions in Brooklyn, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. She has completed residencies at the Yale Summer School of Art & Music and Vermont Studio Center. Her work has received mention in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, and on WNYC(dot)org. O'Neill has taught at the School of Visual Arts and was the Assistant Chairperson of the Digital Arts programs at Pratt Institute for over six years. Since relocating to Los Angeles, she has been featured in solo and group exhibitions, curated a 25-artist site-specific exhibition and taught at Whittier College and the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.