Elizabeth O 'Reilly
These pieces are from our 2016 show with Elizabeth O’Reilly of recent small paintings on aluminum featuring scenes along the Gowanus Canal. O'Reilly has had a studio on the Gowanus for 24 years. She continues to paint along the industrial ruins of the canal, and for this show re-visited sites she previously painted but which have changed in the intervening years. At home in the abandoned precincts of the canal with its solidly geometric shapes, the artist welcomes the immediacy of the smooth surface of aluminum which lends itself to capturing a moment in time. The work captures those moments where we look at the sky or the murky water of the canal and stop for an instance, in awe of the light and the wonder of nature.
Sites along the canal have been O’Reilly’s muse for more than two decades, from the sun-lit green hut on the Union St Bridge to the latticed overpass at the Smith & 9th St subway. These paintings, small in size, provide an intimate look at the area, combining the dominance of the man-made with the energy of the natural world, surging forth in wild bunches of weeds softening the vivid color of industry.
The show also featured other works from O’Reilly's travels to Maine, Cape Cod and Ireland. Elizabeth O’Reilly has shown extensively both in the USA and in Ireland.
Elizabeth O'Reilly received her B.Ed from The National University of Ireland and an MFA from Brooklyn College, New York. O’Reilly has been showing at the George Billis Gallery in Chelsea, New York since 2000. Her work has been reviewed extensively in Art in America, The New York Sun and Art News, among others. O’Reilly works in oil, watercolor and collage, but this body of work is oil on aluminum. She is attracted to urban landscapes, mostly scenes around the Gowanus Canal where she has had a studio for 24 years. She also paints in Maine, Cape Cod and her native Ireland.