There Is Another World, But It Is In This One
RARE Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Eamon O’Kane titled There Is Another World, But It Is In This One. The show, which will run from October 13 to November 10, marks the artist’s second solo turn at the gallery.
The exhibition’s title is an allusion to a quote by W.B. Yeats which O’Kane references in his work. His paintings and drawings serve as a visual allegory to the quote’s written implication to expose one’s childhood and heritage in one’s work. The show portrays an autobiographical world in the manner ascribed to by Yeats, who in a related way attempted to express his Irish upbringing in the context of British colonial rule. O’Kane’s work stands as an investigation into the inherent influences on the creative side of his life, ranging from art and design to mathematics and engineering. The entire range of his output can be seen as a self-examination of the cumulative influences on his artistic method and conceptual development.
The effects that architects, designers, and educators have had on O’Kane’s growth are manifest in his paintings, drawings, installations, sculptures, and animations. His work is a marriage of his signature draftsmanship, design, and painterly qualities and the pragmatic yet creative forms and designs of his Modernist predecessors. Innovators such as Friedrich Fröbel, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Charles Eames are integrated into the artist’s oeuvre as a reflective form of self-analysis. O’Kane riffs on the achievements of master architects such as Wright and Philip Johnson by adding his own sensibility in the form of surreal landscaping and saturated, keyed-up colors. He also makes direct visual reference to Fröbel’s educational play materials known as Fröbel Gifts, which include geometric building blocks and pattern activity blocks that were inspirational to Wright, Le Corbusier, Eames, and Mondrian. He pays particular homage to the architectural eccentricities and peculiarities of the home in which he was raised in County Donegal and singles out Irish furniture designer and pioneer Modernist architect Eileen Gray.
O’Kane has participated in numerous solo and group shows worldwide. His work is included in Dublin Contemporary 2011, September 6 – October 31, 2011, at Earlsfort Terrace and four partner locations in and around Dublin (The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, The National Gallery of Ireland, and The Royal Hibernian Academy). He is also exhibiting in The 43 Uses of Drawing, September 6 – October 30, 2011, at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum in Rugby, UK. O’Kane contributed a site-specific wall drawing and animations to the Luleå Art Biennial 2011 in Sweden, June 22 – September 14, 2011. In 2012, he will have three one-person exhibitions: Neues Museum, Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design, Nürnberg, Germany; Klaipėda Culture Communication Center, Klaipėda, Lithuania; and 126 Gallery, Galway, Ireland. In 2009, the artist made his US solo debut at RARE, followed in 2010 by a one-person exhibition at The Atrium at 101 California in San Francisco, an office tower designed by Philip Johnson, and a solo turn at Gregory Lind Gallery also in San Francisco. A 120-page monograph on his work, entitled Case Histories, with text by Dan Cameron, formerly of the New Museum in New York, was published in 2009. Details on O’Kane’s extensive exhibition, review, and publication history can be found at www.eamonokane.com.
O’Kane received a B.A. Joint Honours Degree in History of Art and Fine Art Painting from The National College of Art and Design in Dublin in 1996, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Ulster University in Belfast in 1998. In addition to being the recipient of several fellowships and lecturing positions, O’Kane is currently Professor of Visual Arts at Bergen National Academy of Art in Bergen, Norway.