Field Change: a Double-Sided Exhibition
October 7–November 5, 2016
Reception: Friday, 10/7, 5-8 pm
artist talk: Saturday, 10/29, 2pm
Titus O’Brien is an artist, writer, and curator who for the last decade has split time between Chicago and New Mexico. Like a multi-disc or double A-side record release, Field Change features two distinct bodies of work played/shown consecutively; each phase runs for two weeks. The first “side” includes paintings and sculpture completed in Chicago from 2009–2012, and is the first time the artist’s seminal, hard-hitting AVMK Suite has been displayed in its entirety. The second installment features Amitagarbha, sublimely emotive chance-process paintings in casein produced in New Mexico since 2013.
Field Change presents an opportunity to witness the way one artist variously treats focused formal and thematic concerns, cultivating stylistic integrity while questioning inherited distinctions regards abstraction versus representation, conceptual strategy versus expressive gesture, motion versus stillness. With a grounded humanism, the art in Field Change embodies the collective and personal challenges we each confront facing paradigm upheaval, deep history, and the quest for intimate revelation in a world of constant change.
Born and raised in Colorado, Titus O’Brien studied studio art and art history at Kansas City Art Institute, Victorian College of the Arts–Melbourne, and Yale and has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. He’s written about art and other subjects for a variety of publications, and has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College, and the University of Texas. He is currently Assistant Curator of Art at the Albuquerque Museum, and serves as a Soto Zen Buddhist priest for communities in both Chicago and New Mexico. Field Change represents O’Brien’s first solo gallery exhibition in a decade, and his first show at EXHIBIT/208
Recent and Upcoming Exhibitions, Press etc.
-my latest curatorial effort: Hard Edge Abstraction: Works on Paper from the Albuquerque Museum, on view now to May 22, 2016.
– Psychedelic Art at the Albuquerque Museum, curated by yours truly, June to October, 2015.
I am featured in a few pages of the new book “Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists“, by Kay Larson (here it is on Amazon.)
“Showmen”: Tim Best, Titus O’Brien, Tom Orr and Cameron Schoepp
at Brand 10 Art Space, Ft Worth, Texas, Mar. 9- Apr. 28, 2012
“Showmen brings these four artists together in an exhibition that investigates space, material, narrative and intuition. Each artist offers a unique inquiry into various degrees of thought about the physical world contrasted with interior lives. Their work addresses: a fascination with simplicity and universality (Schoepp), the space between painting and sculpture focusing on idea driven site-specific installation (Orr), narrative using metaphor as inner struggle (Best) and the intuitive and expressive inquiry into fundamental existential realities (O’Brien).“
review in Glasstire:
“The two paintings by Titus O’Brien, Avatamsaka III and Avatamsaka IV, are montages of fractured architecture, fabric and shadow, full of Futurist era energy and exactitude. For all their jumbled, virile imagery, the paintings have this discerning, impeccable feeling — like consciously tousled hair or a perfectly rumpled linen jacket. They made me think of Kim Jong Il or Putin on holiday, manically sipping good champagne.” Lucia Simek
review in Modern Dallas:
“Titus O’Brien’s paintings are like a collage of exploding black and white backdrops of a cityscape. I recently watched the old 1920’s movie “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and these works remind me a great deal of the expressionist style of the film. The limited colors and geometric shapes with hints of shadowy buildings seem on the surface to be talking a similar language as Orr’s work, but
O’Brien’s titles “Avatamsaka IV” and “Avatamsaka III,” suggest a spiritual influence that makes
me want to look at the paintings a little deeper.” Todd Camplin
“Well Done Well”: New Work by Maria Jonsson, Titus O’Brien, J. Thomas Pallas, Danielle Paz, & Casey Smallwood
Reception, Saturday, July 23, 2011 · 6:00pm – 9:00pm
1401 W. Wabansia Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
The Kinsey Institute Art Juried Show 2011
reception, May 20, 2011, through August
A Very Kind Write Up by Paul Klein on Huffington Post, 4/2011
“Continuing this theme of artists and young arts entities taking responsibility for themselves, not relying on the old-school, gallery system, is an impressive exhibit of new paintings by the Best Chicago Artist You Never Heard Of: Titus O’Brien, who presents an open house / open studio this Sunday afternoon. A teacher at the School of the Art Institute, O’Brien’s career path has meandered through Zen Buddhist residences, a stint as an art critic, an MFA from Yale and extended time at Marfa. It is a profound pleasure to talk art with someone whose art historical knowledge is deep and who is comfortable acknowledging those antecedents in his artwork. I find O’Brien’s work fresh, yet a continuation of art historical issues; beautifully executed, but not anal; decipherable, yet challenging; and muted, yet powerful.”