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William J. O’Brien: Reliquary

August 18, 2018 – November 11, 2018

William J. O'Brien, Reliquary, 2017. Installation view, Shane Campbell Gallery (Dec. 17, 2017 - Feb. 4, 2018). Courtesy of the Artist, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York. Photo: Evan Jenkins.

Chicago-based artist William J. O’Brien’s idiosyncratic and exuberant forms are born out of an improvised and intuitive studio practice. Inspired by Modernism, as well as the history of material experimentation characteristic of Outsider Art, O’Brien’s multidisciplinary practice includes drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics. His beautifully textured ceramic objects–part vessel, part body, and part abstract form–are arranged in tabletop installations. His elaborately patterned felt works and colored pencil drawings marry gestural marks with loosely repeated structures. Vibrant shapes, aggressive loops and marks create a palpable tension between order and chaos.