BREATHING WITH THE ELEMENTS
June 17–August 27, 2022
Friday, June 24, 5–7pm
(June 2022) On exhibit in contemporary artist Jill O’Bryan’s solo show at Zane Bennett Contemporary Art are large-scale sculptures, eight-foot frottages (ground rubbings), two new series of breath paintings and small, 2.25 x 3 inch photographs shot from her studio in New Mexico. The exhibition, titled Breathing with the Elements, marks the artist’s premiere solo show at the gallery, as well as the first time viewers will witness O’Bryan’s photographic work. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Friday, June 24, 5-7pm.
Thousands of New Mexicans have passed Jill O’Bryan’s yellow-and-black billboards on I-25 South between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, New Mexico. The latest sign read “7.5 billion of us breathing together right this moment.” Not too far from where it sat is O’Bryan’s studio, situated atop a mesa outside Las Vegas. This is where she breathes, connects with the earth and creates artwork distilled from her experience.
Breathing with the Elements offers an intimate window into O’Bryan’s world. She explores her relationship to the land through two new series of breath paintings, titled Breathing with the Sky and Breathing with the Moon, large-scale frottages and never-before-exhibited photographs that require close proximity. O’Bryan writes, “Whether through breath drawings, meditation paintings, earth rubbings or photography. I experiment with alternate ways of being immersed in primal connections to the earth, the moon, the air and the sky—to record our presence here as we leave impressions of ourselves on the environment, and the environment forms and informs us.”
Jill O’Bryan (b. 1956, Chicago, IL) is an artist whose practice lives between meditation and aesthetics. Though the artist’s practice initially centered painting, a fruitful love affair with the tranquility of Southwestern landscapes combined with a diligent practice of mindfulness has enabled O’Bryan to expand into works both 2D and sculptural that examine the place of breath and the body in relation to the natural world.
O’Bryan has exhibited internationally at spaces like the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Esteban Vicente in Segovia, Spain and Galerie Annick Ketele in Antwerp, Belgium among numerous others. The artist has also shown extensively in New Mexico through institutions including the New Mexico Museum of Art, Center for Contemporary Art and Mayeur Projects. Her work is also housed in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum, National Gallery of Art, and the Davis Museum at Wellesley College.
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