06/02/2020 - 08/09/2020

Horlock Gallery

When we examine the work of artists from a formal way of looking, we see what it is made of, the elements used by the artist, and we can appreciate the choices made to organize the work. The descriptions given of a work of art address perceptions.  Interpretation and the qualities of what a work of art is made composed of, the elements it possesses such as line, shape, volume, texture, color, value and form, and how they are controlled by the artist are the principles of organization. We then get to the content. What is the artist telling us?

In this gallery, the form and surface are important to the overall impact in the work. Look closely and define what you see and what the artist has done to guide your thinking. Looking at the works of Madeline O’Connor (American, 1931-2002) whose two works Black Widow Spider, 1999 and Cross/Plus, Minus/Negative, 1999 possess surfaces and shape that defines a thought. The title gives us a major clue, red and black is a direct reference to a Southern Black Widow spider.

“ Everything in my work goes back to nature. We are so assaulted by images from television, movies, and advertising that I think it is important to slow down and have a little serenity.”

“ My work is like peeling an artichoke, peeling back the leaves to get to the heart. I try to distill things down to their essence.”

-Artist, Madeline O’Connor, as told to the San Antonio Express News in 2002

Cross/Plus, Minus/Negative is made from handmade paper made in India, using acrylic paint mixed with sand O’Connor applied the symbols at the center. Employing a personal code that draws from science, mathematics, nature, and religion, we are left to contemplate the opposing symbolism.