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Smart Painting

Written by Akaya McElveen

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John O'Donnell, lecturer of studio and digital art, is curating and organizing, "Smart Painting," a show of paintings by artists who respond to the institution of contemporary abstraction. The show runs Feb. 7- March 22 in New Haven's Artspace Gallery.  An opening reception was held on Feb. 7.

"These painting are sharp, quick, bright, amusing, elegant and are aware of their own limitations and forge on, in the familiar but ambiguous territory of abstraction," said O'Donnell. "Confidently defining space through the use of line and structure these paintings challenge traditional notions of abstraction through rational constructions that examine concepts of composition and depth."

Featured artists include Blake Shirley, Sharon Butler, Deborah Dancy, Zachary Keeting, Ben Piwowar, Jenn Dierdorf, Rob D. Campbell, Derek Leka, Clare Grill, Tatiana Berg.

O'Donnell is a multidisciplinary artist and has created performance pieces for the Museum of New Art in Detroit, Proof Gallery in Boston, Flux Space in Philadelphia, and SOHO20 Gallery in New York.  His videos have been exhibited at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York and at film festivals in Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia.

In addition to teaching at Eastern, O'Donnell serves as an adjunct professor of studio and digital arts at the University of Connecticut and Gateway Community College.

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