JO O'CONNOR

BIOGRAPHY

JO O'CONNOR

(b. 1972 Johannesburg, South Africa)

 

Aesthetically, the interplay of similarities and differences, continuity and disruption or harmonious disarray will all contribute to a balancing act present in an artwork. I explored the 1920’s Gestalt theorists in Berlin and how they examined the visual arts through the school of perceptual psychology. These ideas were embraced by camoufleurs (who designed military camouflage during the world wars) as well by as those studying visual arts, who primarily concluded that we experience the world neither as an unbroken continuum nor as a jumble of disorderly parts. Rather, it has been noted that we instinctively organize our experience as “a patchwork of detached fragments” (Paul Weiss, 1971). This instinctive grouping process may be identified into the elements of “similarity, proximity, continuity and closure” (Max Wertheimer, 1923).

In my work, the symbiosis of shape and colour, whether presented in a self-styled pattern or as elements which refer to each other, may suggest grouping processes to the viewer. As such, our innate disposition to perceive patterns with the elements Wertheimer identifies then collates into the primary Gestalt principle: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts… and it is this precarious equilibrium which I strive to realize through my paintings.

 

Jo O'Connor, 2018 

 

EXHIBITIONS 

2018      

An Interlude, Everard Read/Circa Gallery, Cape Town

2017      

Summer, Everard Read, Cape Town

Spectrum, Circa Gallery, Johannesburg

HARDLINE, Everard Read/Circa, Cape Town

2016      

Winter Collection, Everard Read, Cape Town

Summer in the City, Everard Read, Cape Town

2015      

Homage, Everard Read, Cape Town

Winter Collection, Everard Read, Cape Town

Empire, Everard Read, Cape Town

2013      

SOLO Visage, Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town

2009      

Own Goal, Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town

2007      

Stilte, Klein Karoo Nationale Kunsfees, Oudtshoorn

2006    

‘Home/Room 516’, Spier Hotel Room Installations, Spier Hotel, StellenboshOut of Context, Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town

2005      

‘Home/Room 516’, Spier Hotel Room Installations, Spier Hotel, StellenboschRoutes around the World (portfolio curated by Harm Lux with Wirth & Hauser) Zurich, Switzerland

2004      

Pulse, Videoart Center Tokyo, TokyoSomerfest, Karl Hofer Gesellschaft, Berlin

SOLO There, Galerie Expo 3036, Berlin

2003      

Very Real Time, Cape Town

2002      

Spare Change, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunsfees, OudtshoornSpier Outdoor Sculpture Biennial, Spier Estate, Stellenbosch

SOLO Thread, Prince Albert Gallery, Prince Albert, Great Karoo

2001      

Collaboration with Paco Rodrigues on YDETAG, South African National Gallery, Cape Town

2000      

One City Many Cultures Festival, Cape TownTour Guides of the Inner City on Urban Futures 2000, Rembrand van Rijn Gallery, Johannesburg

SOLO Muscle, Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet, Cape Town

1999      

Want it, Collaboration with James Webb on Cape Town Art Night, Cape TownSoftserve, South African National Gallery, Cape Town

1998      

SOLO Before Swallowing, Mark Coetzee Fine Art Cabinet, Cape Town

1997      

The Shopping Trolley Project, The River Club, Cape TownThe District Six Sculpture Festival, District Six, Cape Town

1996      

SOLO Neuroglia, Rembrandt van Rijn Gallery, Johannesburg

 

RESIDENCIES 

2004      

Karl Hofer Gesellschaft, Berlin

2003      

Very Real Time, Cape Town

2000      

Thupelo, Cape Town

 

EDUCATION 

1997      

Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Management, University of Cape Town

1994      

Honours (Fine Art) Cum Laude , University of Natal

1993      

Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art, History of Art), University of Natal