Maybe it helps to know that Fran O’Neill has a deep past in figurative painting rooted in perception and drawing from life: that would make sense of the compositional acuity, vivacious economy and voluptuous sense of bodily connection in her beefy, boisterous forms. It might also explain why they sometimes recall Howard Hodgkin though they are far less polite in dispatch. Or why the brushstrokes remind us of Juan Uslé but with more generational purpose. But the highest compliment one can pay to these audacious paintings is that the artist’s formal groundings aren’t beaten into them. They are abstract, hard and fast.
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