Christine O’Sullivan paints grid-like rhythms to reflect the urban landscape of the big apple. In her willow charcoal drawings, shading marks out shapes that work a conflicting dynamic that resolves itself within the space of the frame, as in ‘Square Drawing’. The theme of spiralling shapes is extended in technicolour in ‘NYC Series’ where the colour is concentrated into segments in a style similar to Sonia Delaunay. The intersecting layers of shapes cross over to produce the energy of motion also found in some of Cornish Artist Peter Lanyon’s canvases. It’s all about saying what you see in enjoying O’Sullivan’s abstract forms as they tell the story of the famous streets of Manhattan. Sometimes the downtown is literally lifted onto canvas. The appearance of fragmenting layers of graffiti paint seems to find its way into the fabulous 'NYC (Untitled)' series. In the rectangular canvases of ‘NYC Series’, hints of swirling uptown fashions are painted in fruity candy colours typical of fancy uptown shop windows.
The layout of the city is a ready-made inspiration in the construction of ‘Bowery Garden’ series. This places an interesting spin on whether the work is strictly abstract or representational, perhaps of a birds eye view of the land plots in a community garden. In this remarkable series, two graphic patterns coexist in the same frame, one of coloured shapes strewn like confetti as background for the Artist’s trademark big bold angular shapes. Thick acrylic paint is concentrated onto blocks marked on the white canvas making a startling bold colour. So no sleep till you catch ‘Brooklyn’ as this exhibition rewards anyone who appreciates a crisp bite of big apple. A great perspective of the infinite natural light of the city sky going through the planes of high-rise glass windows or refracted through the odd bit of smog, floating out, knowing no boundaries. After all O’Sullivan paints a city that knows no limits.
Lita Doolan (DI Reviewer), 26/11/07
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