Robyn O'Neil - Castle Elementary

Robyn O’Neil


November 12 – December 17, 2017

With this new body of work, O’Neil has created twelve drawings with graphite and mixed media that range from small, immediate expressions to larger-scale, intricate drawings filled with groupings of mysterious symbols. O’Neil is back in top form with her mechanical pencil in the creation of vision-like drawings that recall forces beyond our control, often represented in ominous skies and curious staircase-like constructions.

The recent drawings present skies filled with vision-like imagery that appears to hover just above the horizon, inspired in part by Mayan creation myths and pre-Renaissance symbolism.  Works such as Menagerie and The Everywhere Citadel offer a collection of symbols within staircase-like boundaries, new worlds opening in front of the viewer to drift into and figure out the possible connections. Mixed with the mystery and possibility in these drawings is O’Neil’s playfulness, both with language and form, as seen in Words Were Not and Procession with Exits.

Born 1977 in Omaha, Nebraska, Robyn O’Neil received her B.F.A. degree from Texas A&M Commerce and her M.F.A. degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago.  She currently lives and works in Beverly Hills, California.  In 2006, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas, organized the artist’s first one-person museum survey which traveled to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington.  O’Neil has been included in many prestigious group museum exhibitions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well as the 2004 Whitney Biennial.  Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.