Helen O’Leary

Work

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #5 / 2014-18 / egg, oil tempera, linen, wood / 17.5 x 16 x 4.5 inches

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #7 / 2014-18 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood, wood / 18 x 18 x 5.25 inches

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #7 / 2014-18 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood, wood / 18 x 18 x 5.25 inches

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #8 / 2014-18 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood, wood / 14 x 8 x 3.25 inches

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #6 / 2018 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood, linen, wood / 17 x 18 x 6 inches

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #9 / 2014-18 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood, wood / 13 x 11.25 x 7 inches

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #3 / 2014-18 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood, wood / 15 x 10 x 4 inches

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #2 / 2014-18 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood, wood / 16 x 15.25 x 5 inches

Helen O’Leary / Safe House #1 / 2014-18 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood, wood / 23 x 16.25 x 7 inches

Helen O’Leary / 2014-18 / Safe House #4 / polymer, wood, fiber, pigment / 17.25 x 20.5 x 8 inches

Helen O’Leary / White Bow Tie / 2018 / egg, oil emulsion on constructed wood / 8.5 x 13 x 3 inches

Videos

I M M A

Published on Aug 31, 2018

 

Artist Helen O’Leary talks about her work ‘Refusal and The Problem with Adjectives’ which was selected for the 2018 Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection. You can see this work at IMMA, alongside that of the three other artists selected for the 2018 Fund, until 16 September 2018.

Helen O’Leary – Refusal – Wexford Arts Centre

 

Filmed and Edited by James Bell. www.twitter.com/jdb33 Refusal runs from October 20th to December 24th 2013 in Wexford Arts Centre, Cornmarket, Ferrybank South, Wexford, Ireland

TheMACBelfast

Published on Feb 15, 2016

 

Helen O’Leary: The Shelf Life of Facts 5 Feb 2016 – 24 Apr 2016 This exhibition takes the form of a new site-specific commission for our Upper Gallery by New York-based artist Helen O’Leary. O’Leary’s work in painting draws on her Irish background, and explores with deftness, rigor and craft, the idea of origin, of how everything we subsequently become has been framed by the visual, cultural, moral and emotional lines of definition that are drawn around our formative childhood worlds. Contained within the gallery space is a series of large scale “history” paintings made from thwarted joinery, armatures, insets and shelves that both display all of their components and continually rebuild and reframe their own structure and meaning. The artist’s painterly explorations are located between moments of material and emotional certainty. They both laugh at and question the structural prosthesis of conventions that are established through economic, cultural and gender constraints. This new work concerns itself with the uncertainty present in any economic downturn or change, between youth and middle age, and in the rupture between external and internal life.

Helen O’Leary – Refusal 5 day time lapse – Wexford Art Center

Cornmarket, Ferrybank South, Wexford, Ireland

James Bell

Published on Oct 24, 2013

Filmed and Edited by James Bell. www.twitter.com/jdb33 Refusal runs from October 20th to December 24th 2013 in Wexford Arts Centre

In conjunction with the opening weekend of the IMMA Collection: Then and Now exhibition, artist Janet Mullarney discusses key developments of her longstanding career and the influence of her time spent in Italy. Mullarney is highly regarded as one of Ireland’s most significant artists working today, recognized for making distinctive small fragile sculptures juxtaposed with theatrical backdrops, lighting schemes and drawings in which to reveal the power and imagination of the artists’ mind. Fellow Collection artist Helen O’Leary, moderates this discussion, reflecting on shared artistic experiences and interests that span Mullarney’s practice.

About Artists
Irish artist Janet Mullarney (born 1952) studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti and Scuola Professionale di Intaglio in Florence. Incorporating an extensive range of materials including bronze, wood, plaster, foam, cloth, glass and wax, her dynamic sculptural works reference religious iconography, art history and human relationships. Mullarney’s work is represented in many public collections including that of the Arts Council, the OPW, and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. She divides her time between studios in Ireland and Italy.

Helen O’Leary attended the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (BA) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA, MFA). She has been honoured with la Prix de Rome, American Academy in Rome, John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship; two Pollock Krasner awards; and the Joan Mitchell Award for painting and sculpture. Solo exhibitions include Lesley Heller Gallery, New York; The MAC, Belfast; Limerick City Gallery of Art. She lives in Jersey City, New Jersey and Leitrim.

This talk took place on 16 Feb 2019 at IMMA.

Image credit: Janet Mullareny,“Lenience (Paesaggio di compassione)” – 1987-2017, 120x 80×115 cm

BIO

Subverting our notion of painting into an unconventional organization of formal and organic relationships, Helen O’Leary assembles elegant formulations of broken wood and stretched fiber into the gestural lyricism of reimagined sculptural paintings. O’Leary describes herself as a painter who tells stories from the archeology and ruins of deconstructed materials within her studio. Growing up in Ireland and relocating to the United States, her sculptural paintings become the memoir of two countries, an idiosyncratic aggregate of fragile gridded fragments.  Her accumulation of stretchers, panels, frames, & linen are cut into small pieces, retaining staples, glue and any number of sundry material for re-assemblage into the unconventional enigmatic paintings on view. “Throughout my career, I have been constructing a very personal and idiomatic formal language based in simple materials and unglamorous gestures, a framework which functions as a kind of syntactical grid of shifting equivalences. The ‘paintings’ that emerge from this process know their family history, a narrative of greatness fallen on hard times”.

Helen O’Leary was born in County Wexford, Ireland, and received her BFA and MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1991 she has been a Professor at the School of Visual Arts at Penn State University. O’Leary was recently awarded a John S. Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts, as well as the 2018–19 Rome Prize and Italian Fellowship from The American Academy in Rome. Additional awards include two Pollock-Krasner awards, and a Joan Mitchell Award for painting and sculpture. Exhibitions include the National Gallery of Art, Limerick, Ireland;  Glasgow Museum of Art, Glasgow, Scotland; The MAC, Belfast, Northern Ireland; Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia; and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY. Her work is represented in national and international collections. O’Leary lives and works in New Jersey and Ireland.

Helen O’Leary CV

Press

March 22, 2019
Maake
March 22, 2019
Artfile Magazine
November 2, 2018
Squarecylinder.com
October 29, 2018
Two Coats of Paint