Jill O'Bryan, nm.21.15, 2015 India ink on paper, 72 x 120 inches Image courtesy of the artist
Jill O'Bryan MAPPING RESONANCE
Mapping Resonance is a survey and installation by internationally renowned, New Mexico and New York-based artist Jill O’Bryan. Several bodies of O’Bryan’s work come together in one space for the first time, creating a record of residue, time, and breath. Mapping Resonance is a celebration of a profound career that spans decades and an on-going contemplative practice. The story of place, connection, meditation, history, are told throughout this comprehensive exhibition.
O’Bryan installs a new series of sculptural plaster vessels, residue paintings, breath drawings, and a series of large scale (10’x 6’) rubbings (frottages) of the New Mexico Mesa, where she resides for half of the year. All of the work requires the full faculty of her body to create. O'Bryan refers to the Tonglen Breathing technique to create her breath drawings. She makes them with mindful breath in hours-long marathon drawing sessions that happen over several months, or years. The over-sized ‘Mesa Frottages’ involve the artist physically recording a 10' x 6' portion of the mesa through rubbing graphite on paper. Her other large works imply documentation rather than create it. On the opposing wall of the ‘Mesa Frottages,’ are a series of intuitive renderings of rock formations, a series of work she calls “on, and just above the ground.” Her new series of plaster ‘Vessels’ reference ancient metates (a flat or slightly hollowed oblong stone or depression on which materials such as grain are ground using a smaller stone) that are clustered in groups out on the mesa she draws. Sitting in the center of the gallery is a 10' x 40' long platform holding thirty-eight ink and tea blots on rice paper, alluding to metate-like depressions on the mesa. Intermingling so many projects dealing with a singular topic brings a conversation about imagined and actual history to Mapping Resonance.
"This exhibition is about the residue of both nature and civilization and finding one's way through centuries, if not millennia, of dust and rock. I am not interested in what may have come to pass but the relationship of cause and effect," states the artist Jill O'Bryan. "The work exists as a record of an action, a testament to what is 'produced' or left behind." Curator Angie Rizzo goes on to say "Mapping Resonance addresses and reimagines O'Bryan's contemplative practice, which has become thoroughly intermeshed in her artistic practice, further emphasizing the importance of interconnection."
The diverse work of Jill O'Bryan can be found in the Muñoz Waxman Gallery from January 13 - March 12, 2017.