Justin O'Neill
Artist Biographical Information


born in 1972 in Montreal, Canada.
She recieved her BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997. Her work has been in DNSP 98, published by the Arkansas State University in cunjunction with the "1998 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition" and The Catalog 10, published by the depatrment of painting and printmaking at the Virginia Commonwealth University in conjunction with "Interaction 10".
2001 Master of Fine Arts in Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute.


My most resent work hearkens back to Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Pop Art. I use elements and shapes in my work which are familiar to these different time periods in paintingšs history. I am presently working on a body of oil paintings which deconstructs the traditional use of gesture marks in art history. In these recent paintings, the Abstract Expressionist mark has been stripped of its thick, aggressive, emotional content and has become the large oversized mark which is flat, glossy, and decorative, characteristics thought undesirable by the Abstract Expressionists.

While I create work which comments on the condition of paintings in the contemporary art world, I want at the same time to make beautiful, simplified paintings that are able to attract viewers who are not aware of art history. I am increasingly interested in beautiful, kitschy work that would fit nicely above someonešs couch. I am attempting to create decorative work that can be easily lived with, that at the same time mocks its own decorative quality.

Introductions 2001, July 5 - 28

Each month, Artweek Editor Berin Golonu highlights selected exhibitions from venues listed in the Artweek Calendar.

Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts has demonstrated a predisposition towards the painting medium in their selection of artists for this year's Introductions exhibition. Justin O'Neill and Jonathan Collis approach their craft from similar directions but come to widely divergent conclusions. Whereas O'Neill's brightly colored, thickly layered paintings emit a clamorous vibrancy, Collis's spare, diagrammatic compositions are quiet contemplations on the philosophy of the I-Ching. O'Neill draws (quite literally) from the lineage of Abstract Expressionism. Her latest series, titled The Motherwell Paintings, consists of large-scale canvases appropriating outline tracings of the paint blobs found in this well-known artist's most cherished canvases. O'Neill has reworked these shapes, retracing their outlines in glowing hues and incorporating enough texture into their confines to give them the appearance of topographical maps evoking bird's-eye views of land masses floating in an electric-colored sea. Having studied the I-Ching for several years, Collis is concerned with investigating the various methodologies philosophers invent to try and lend a sense of order and understanding to the chaos of the world. The artist has devised his own diagrammatic system to help him best encapsulate the philosophy of the I-Ching. Trigrams and hexagrams come together in complicated interweavings of dotted patterns in hushed hues that display a perfectly suspended balance of harmony.

Works by Justin O'Neill and Jonathan Collis are on view July 5-28 at Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, 161 Natoma St., San Francisco. Information on the other galleries participating in Introductions 2001 can be obtained through the San Francisco Art Dealers Association's Web site at