ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Inpost Artspace at the Outpost Performance Space is hosting “Beatitude Studies” by Titus O’Brien through Oct. 27. The solo exhibition features 15 colored pencil drawings, 16 photographs and one sculpture that share a contemplative state of being.
O’Brien begins each drawing with a grid, like artists reaching back to ancient Egypt, Persia, China and elsewhere who used grids as foundations to support more complex compositions in art and architecture.
In the early 1960s New York artist Larry Poons, who was born in Tokyo, created a grid-based series of paintings that allowed him to randomly place ellipses or dots drawn from points on the grid. When the painting was completed the resulting composition echoed randomly falling leaves.
In works like “Beatitude Study (Tenkara),” O’Brien borders a predominantly blue fluidic design with narrow variegated yellow and orange rectangles. The highly varied borders on his entire installation of square compositions lend his drawings the look of Buddhist tangka paintings, weavings and abstract visual prayers called yantras.
There are also parallels between Chinese and Japanese silk textile designs in works like “Beatitude Study: (Golden Road),” “Beatitude Study: (Green Dragon Cave)” and “Beatitude Study: (Silky Slivers).” His color choices, though arrived at randomly, are harmonious and quite beautiful.