Howard Scott Gallery is pleased to announce the opening on December 1st, 2016, of the second solo exhibition of Recent Paintings by New York based artist, Charles Thomas O’Neil. The exhibition will continue through January 7, 2017.
Tom O’Neil’s new paintings appear to be even closer to the lyrical and spiritual implications of pure form. The biomorphic forms of his works from a few years ago are largely gone, giving way to more austere geometries of horizontals and verticals.
Stylistically, O’Neil’s paintings cut neatly between familiar categories. They are evidently both abstract, and expressive, and yet they steer clear of the autobiographical angst of Abstract-Expressionism. The artist prefers to think of his paintings as objects rather than pictures, echoing the Minimalists’ preoccupation with objecthood and the dissolution of the mental space between viewer and viewed. Closely inspected, however, his paintings show little interest in the honed surfaces and serial symmetry typical of Minimalist works. By contrast, O’Neil’s paintings are determinedly hands-on, built up of countless overpainting and scraping-down of forms, their intervals revealing an organic cohesion rather than a mathematical exactness.
Born in New York in 1966, O’Neil worked in the 1980’s as a studio assistant for the painter David Novros, whose minimalist explorations of paintings as object clearly left an enduring mark on the young artist imagination. Leaving New York in his twenties, O’Neil has lived amidst the vibrant artistic communities of Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Berkshire Mountains of Massachussets where he now lives-locales whose stunning landscapes have attuned his vision to color and form as it exists in nature.