Art Up Close: Abstract Paintings by Erin O’Brien

Compositions that allow for multiple readings
November 14, 2022

I love Erin O'Brien's paintings because you can see her thought processes. It's almost like a visualization of thought.


Erin starts with a shape taken from an object or a color that she's seen and wants to reproduce. Then she makes a shape on the canvas – which creates a problem for her. So, she has to make another shape to solve that problem, which then creates another problem, so she has to create another shape to solve that problem.


Erin's constantly dealing with transparency combined with the raw linen canvas she uses as a contrast. Parts of her work are very painterly, and parts are very opaque and hard-edged. And it's this contrast that gives her work its energy.