A senior art show by Maura O'Brien
The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts at Princeton University will present “Chrysalid,” an exhibition by senior Maura O’Brien of oil paintings, wall-size multimedia works on paper, woodcut blocks, sketch books and a sculptural installation inspired by the artist’s experiences as a canoe guide in the northern Minnesota wilderness. The work will be on exhibit April 14 through 18 with a reception where visitors can meet the artist on April 17 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau Street. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
Maura working in her studio. Photos by Jaclyn Sweet
O’Brien is majoring in visual arts at Princeton through a collaborative program of the Department of Art and Archaeology and the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts, which offers students an opportunity to study art history along with courses in studio art. She is also pursuing a certificate in Environmental Studies, which feeds heavily in to the content of her work.
The exhibition is inspired by her memories of time spent in northern Minnesota, an area known for its unspoiled natural beauty, where she has worked a number of summers as a guide for canoe trips.
O’Brien’s oil paintings on canvas are abstractions pulled from photographs she has taken of natural landscapes. The paint is built up in thick layers and both the color and texture contribute to an impressionistic sensibility. From a formal perspective, the works are about mark making and about building up multiple layers of seeing through those marks. Her works on paper, which cover whole walls in her studio at approximately eight-feet square each, incorporate printed images, oil paints, and drawings. The exhibition will include large woodcut blocks carved by the artist measuring two feet by eight feet that depict trees in images guided by the natural grain of the wood. Her sketchbooks will also be on view, showing the connections between her visual thought process and the fully realized works that emerged from these quick studies. Translating these same ideas into three dimensions, O’Brien will create a large sculptural installation in a corner of the gallery that suggests the idea of a nest, using built up layers of paper in much the same textural way she approaches her paintings.
Upon graduation O’Brien plans to return to northern Minnesota to paint and continue her work as a guide for a time before exploring M.F.A. programs.
The Lucas Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Photo link: https://lca.sharefile.com/d/sf2dc7f9107643f49
Photo caption: Maura O’Brien at work in her studio on one of the large multimedia works on paper that will be part of her exhibition at the Lewis Center’s Lucas Gallery.
Photo credit: Photo by Jaclyn Sweet
April 14 - April 18, 2014
April 17, 2014 • 7:00 p.m.
10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Lewis Center for the Arts
at 185 Nassau Street
Free and open to the public