Swift Gallery Review

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In the common understanding, art is often understood as a synonym for expression, a kind of releasing of the material of the psyche into the world. It is often supposed that this internal revelation is the key to the therapeutic properties of making art. But there is another, equally compelling way to think of art: as an emergence of something strange and new into the world…a kind of revelation. Revelations (unlike expression) do not come in straightforward easy to understand messages. And much to the consternation of the literal-minded, they may bear a different message to each viewer, frustrating attempts to simplify them.

 

The paintings of Diane O’Connor are best considered as artifacts of their own making, each shape, each layer merging and emerging naturally from another. O’Connor’s abstracts are full of irreducible complexity. In each painting, we discover a layering of form on form, an archaeology that reveals itself, down to the foundation, a structure that resists the two-dimensional form. The works invite the viewer to dig in, unearthing layers through their own visual experience. In this way, O’Connor’s paintings are not a diary…they are more like a mirror, inviting the viewer to look in and find their own emergent meaning to unearth. Dig in!

 

Wes Chester, Curator, Martha Pace Swift Gallery, San Diego, CA

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