KMAC presents acclaimed Chicago artist William J. O’Brien in a solo exhibition that features ceramic and steel sculptures, textiles, drawing and painting. An appreciation for manual labor and the handmade is translated through a dexterous manipulation of multiple materials and forms, revealing a primary tenet of craft itself, the reversal of our de-valued relationship with the physical world.
The work explores relationships between color, form, pattern and texture, balancing tensions between chaos and control, oscillating between abstraction and figuration. O’Brien’s varied practice references both Modernist masters and 20th century autodidacts. His democratization of the creativity of diverse artists conveys a personal mission to equalize and represent marginalized methods for communication, exposing new ideas through experimentations with craft based materials and traditions, and thereby expanding the vocabulary of our shared visual language.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website