Maureen O'Leary's paintings of the suburbs and exurbs tease out individuality from repetition. Her work explores the abstract shapes in architecture and the humor, attitude, and bucholia of what are often considered scenes to look beyond.
Maureen O'Leary hung thirteen paintings for her show at One Arts Center, a body of work that depicts motifs of the suburbs and exurbs and teases out individuality from repetition. Her work extracted humor, attitude, bucholia, and senescence from things non-urban. In her artist talk she discussed the occasional mismatch between the visions of architects of planned communities and what often follows. Coming full circle, the human need for beauty (and even nostalgia) is so instinctive that it can be found in settings that many might consider artistically empty. She described the important work being done currently by painters such as Henry Taylor and Lynette Yiadom Boakye who have carved new ground between expressionism and representation. She also discussed how photography can inspire painting, such as the work of photographer Robert Adams, who uncovered extraordinary beauty in the seemingly forgettable space of the suburban backyard.