Francesca OMalley

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Francesca’s first formal art training as a child and young adult was at the now shuttered Brooklyn Museum Art School. She attended Pratt Institute where she received a BFA and MFA (with a fellowship award) in painting. At that time, Pratt upheld Bauhaus ideas in teaching, providing the foundational skills needed for both fine art and design. A long career as an art director has linked together her love of typography, the basis of communication and human mark-making, with design and fine art. Professional awards in publishing include a few first place standings from the New York Book Show. Membership in the Type Directors Club provided several years of inspiration. A day-to-day connection with computers and various software has influenced how she sees the world and expanded her toolkit.

Painting, in acrylics on canvas, is mostly done in series. Recent work is an exploration of space and dimension, light, symbol, and the human figure. These elements are often placed in contradiction to each other. Background images may be appropriated from NASA or from satellite imagery. The rendering of the figurative element has been influenced by Renaissance painting. The proportions of the canvasses built for some series are the same as that of the computer screen, which has become an inescapable part of daily experience.

3D lenticular work is the basis for a group of sculptural objects making use of obsolete technology from the 1950s, which today is usually seen in the kitschy context of vacation postcards. These are sometimes inset into a gravel encrusted, painted framework, suggestive of an undersea barnacle covered object, worn, and changed by the power of water. Although more playful, they are also concerned with the perception of space, and may be viewed as companions to the paintings.

Some older works include imaginary landscapes of grassy fields. There will soon be a series of new paintings based on this idea, but expanded with some new concepts.

Trained in classical piano, Francesca has also been building a harpsichord from a kit and has decorated the soundboard using casein paints. The flora and fauna of New York State have been used as the theme. The application of drawing and painting becomes a craft in this instance, going back to early Bauhaus influences from college days.