John O’Connor Bio

<<artist’s page

John O’ Connor was born in Westfield, Massachusetts. He develops his drawings through idiosyncratic systems, making visual what is ordinarily invisible.  He begins each drawing with a subject of interest and through haphazard research collects data and begins to experiment with it. He completes one part of the drawing, responds to what he’s put down in a Rube Goldbergian way, and continues until the drawing is complete. Chance is an important element of the process, eliminating a purely aesthetic and personal approach. The constantly evolving systems that O’Connor devises to construct the works exist alongside the final image so that his process becomes a visual element of the work; the concept of the drawing and its formal elements are represented simultaneously.

“Raymond Queneau, cofounder of Oulipo, once described the cult writer Raymond Roussel, renowned for his perplexing compositional methods, as one who ‘joins the mathematician’s delirium to the poet’s logic.’ I could say the same about John O’Connor. It’s as if Roussel, channeled by O’Connor, had discovered the Internet and decided to make illuminated pages from his findings.” (Bruce Pearson, Bomb Magazine)


Westfield, MA. 1972

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Skowhegan, ME
Master of Fine Arts, Pratt Institute. Brooklyn, NY
Master of Theory, Criticism, and History of Art. Pratt Institute. Brooklyn, NY
BA, Westfield State College. Westfield, MA

Vec Tor Bel (NonCoreProjector), False Flag, Queens, NY (November 10–December 22)
Verbolect, The Boiler, Brooklyn, NY. (with the artist collective NonCoreProjector)
Thin, Dark Crash (how I dread that blue jay), Pierogi, New York, NY (14 October–13 November)
Arts and Leisure Gallery, New York, NY (artist book to be produced)
The Machine and the Ghost, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY (11 October – 10 November) 
What is Toronto???, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY (13 May-12 June)
Barbara Walters Gallery, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
C’OD(e)R, Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (17 June–20 August)
All of a Sudden, Martin Asbaek Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark (6 November–10 December)
Flannel Tongue, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY (5 September–5 October)
One Hundred Days In a Year, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY (18 November–23 December)
Parallel Inclines, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Schemes Out, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Steuben East Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Thesis Exhibition, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Jasper Rand Museum, Westfield, MA
Amici Gallery of Contemporary Art, Westfield, MA

Make Art Not War: Pierogi for Peace, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Pulp, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Now: Recent Abstract Painting, Curated by Mark Wethli, The Curator Gallery, New York, NY (April 19–June 2)
Dead Drop, Honey Ramka, Brooklyn, NY
Double Down, Pierogi, New York, NY
Unknown Variable, Local Project, Long Island City, NY
Reclaimed, New Jersey City University Art Gallery, Jersey City, NJ
SIX, Regina Rex, New York, NY
Flat Earth, Ship in the Woods, Escondido, CA
Future Past Perfect, Ms Barbers, Los Angeles, CA
Rage For Art (Once Again), Pierogi, New York, NY
Another Better World, The Bascom Arts Center, Highlands, NC. Curated by David Brown
This Strange Game, Landmark Arts Building, Chelsea, New York, NY. Curated by Brigitte Mulholland and Michael Woody
Future Past Perfect, Projekt 722, Brooklyn, NY
Human Ecology 101, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY. Curated by Scott Campbell
Abscissas and Ordinates, Honey Ramka, Brooklyn, NY

Spaced Out: Migration to the Interior, Red Bull Studios, New York, NY. Curated by Phong Bui
PIEROGI XX: Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Horizon, Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
Fountains Of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood, 462 West Broadway, New York, NY. Curated by Darren Aronofsky
Far From Now, Regina Rex, Brooklyn, NY
Progress Report, Storefront Ten Eyck, Brooklyn, NY
Datascapes, Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, NJ. Curated by Anonda Bell (catalogue produced)
Spitball, Storefront Ten Eyck Gallery, Bushwick, Brooklyn. Curated by Vince Contarino and Chris Chatterson
Forces of Nature/Natural Forces, The Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Lisa Banner
Classless Society, Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY
Unhinged, Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Linda Francis, John O’Connor, Ken Weathersby, Suite 217, Brooklyn, NY
/Len/, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY; curated by Jered Sprecher
Observer Effect, Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Diagram, Drive by Projects, Watertown, MA
11th National Drawing Invitational: New York, Arkansas Center for the Arts, Little Rock, Arkansas, curated by Charlotta Kotik
Paper Band, Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY
Summer in the City, Martin Asbaek Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark
Paper:Work, Ground Arts, New York, NY
Subjective / Objective, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
The Way Things Work, Athens Institute of Contemporary Art, Athens, GA
Spiral Bound, Notebooks from New York to San Diego, UC San Diego, CA
So Different, So Appealing, Gramercy Park, New York, NY. Curated by Rachel Churner
The Death Affect, Artblog, New York, NY
The Lab, Dublin, Ireland (3-person)
Instructions Not Included, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX (October 4, 2008-January 4, 2009)
Drawing Systems, Lafayette College, Easton, PA
Summer in the City, Martin Asbaek Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark
Summer Group Show, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Esopus Exhibition Space, New York
Works on Paper, Big and Small Casual Gallery, Long Island City, NY
Cream, No Sugar, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Reaganography, No Globe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Rich Text, Felisher / Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (January 22–February 21)
Selections from 185 Nassau, Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Princeton, NJ
40th Anniversary Art on Paper 2008, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
(Oct 19, 2008—January 25, 2009)
Rich Text, Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Elusive Truths, Firehouse Art Gallery: BUrlington City Arts, Burlington, VT (4-person show)
Apocalyptic Summer, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX
Pierogi et al, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Object Direct, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS
(Un)Natural Selection, Pierogi Brooklyn, New York (June 1–July 28)
Mixed Signals, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY
Analagous Logic, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Brooklyn, NY
Flatfiling, Artnews Projects, Berlin, Germany
Mixed Signals, Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, NY
Collection 2005-06, Curated by Bob Nickas, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brusels, Belgium (April 21–May 27)
Factitious, Pierogi, Brooklyn, New York (June-July) and Pierogi, Leipzig (Nov-Dec)
Inaugural Group Exhibition, Pierogi, Leipzig, Germany (April-June)
Miami Basel- part of Pierogi/Feldman exhibition space
Looking at Words; The Formal Presence of Text in Modern and Contemporary Works On Paper, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY (Oct. 28, 2005–January 14, 2006)
Greater New York 2005, PS1, Long Island City, NY
Topographics, Kent Place Gallery, Summit, NJ
Seriality, Axel Raben Gallery, New York, NY
SAFN in Collaboration with Pierogi; SAFN Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
Queens International, Queens Museum, Queens, NY
Reconfigure, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Looking at Words, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY
Superfat, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Brooklyn, NY
Armory Show, New York, NY
Vacation Nation, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Pierogi: The Flat Files, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
Thought Patterns, Kent Place Gallery, Summit, NJ
Fear of an Abstract Planet, King Fisher Projects, Queens, NY
Art Basel Miami, Miami, FL
Armory Show, New York, NY
Parallel Inclines, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL (2-person show)
Art Basel Miami, Pierogi, Miami, FL
On the Wall, OH+T Gallery, Boston, MA
Brooklyn Showcase, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME
High and Inside, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
In Heat, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Pierogi Presents, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA (1 April–10 May)
Random Order, White Columns, New York, NY
The Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, Traveling Exhibitions: New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Consolidated Works, Seattle, WA
Soo Visual Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Art Center of South Florida, Miami Beach, FL
Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, GA
Detonation, Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY
D-Artiste’s American’s, La Miroiterie, Paris, France
Artforum Berlin, Pierogi, Berlin, Germany
Armory Show, Pierogi, New York, NY
Slide Slam, Art in General, New York, NY
Boiled or Fried, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
New Drawing 2002, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ
Process on Paper, OH+T Gallery, Boston, MA
Artforum Berlin, Pierogi, Berlin, Germany
Artist of the Week, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Mapping Cultures, Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA
Systematic, Nicholas Davies Gallery, New York, NY
Brooklyn-New Work, Cathedral of Saint John the Devine, New York, NY
Systems: Past, Present, and Future, Teacher’s Insurance Corporation, New York, NY
Snapshot, Museum of Contemporary Art, Baltimore, MD
Viridian Gallery, Curated by Charlotta Kotik, Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY
Showcase 2000, Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
DFN Gallery, New York, NY
Art and Math, Mariboe Gallery, Hightstown, NJ
Pleiades Gallery of Contemporary Art, Curated by Donald Kuspit, New York, NY
Citicorp Exhibition, Citicorp Plaza, New York, NY
Annual Juried Exhibition, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY
Two works selected by Stefan Stux, Stefan Stux Gallery, New York, NY
Contemporary Abstraction, East Gallery, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
61st Annual National Juried Exhibition, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY
Almuni Exhibition, Curated by Holister Sturges, Springfield Museum of Fine Art,
Arno Maris Gallery, Westfield, MA

The MacDowell Art Colony Residency, Peterborough, NH
New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in Drawing
Elizabeth Foundation Studio Residency
Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Foundation Residency Award
Artist talk with Fred Tomaselli at the New Museum, New York, NY (December 12)
New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in Painting
Resident Artist, Farpath Residency, Dijon, France
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant
Artist in Residence, Flying Horse Press, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Artist in Residence, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Full Fellowship, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
Kress Foundation Fellowship, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Drawing, Prints, and
Photographs Department, Brooklyn, NY
Excellence in Art History, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
Award of Excellence, Cover Art Competition, Manhattan Arts International, NY, NY

ArtCritical, Review of “Double Down”
Cascone, Sarah. Review of “Double Down”, Artnet News
Schwendener, Martha. Review of “Verbolect,” The New York Times
Studio Visit Video with Gorky’s Granddaughter
Kalm, James. Video Review of “Thin Dark Crash” November,
Gibson, Jeff. Print Review of “Thin Dark Crash (how I dread that blue jay)”Artforum January
Chidester, Brian. Review of “Human Ecology 101,” Ephemera NYC, August
Chidester, Brian. “Interview: John O’Connor,” Ephemera NYC, July
Brooks, Katherine. Review of work from Armory Show, “13 Artists You Should Fall In Love With This Spring,”Huffington Post, March
Temple, Mary. “Artists on Diaries: Sunspot Diary” Smithsonian Archives of American Art, January

Schultz, Charles. Review of “The Machine and the Ghost,” Art in America
Weathersby, Ken. “The Phantom: John O’Connor’s Machine and the Ghost,” NY Arts Magazine
Yaniv, Etty. “John O’Connor Artist Profile: A Voice of His Own,” Arts in Bushwick, October 15
Exhibition Catalogue: Essays by Rick Moody, Robert Storr, John Yau. Pierogi Press
The Brooklyn Rail, Review of “The Machine and the Ghost”, Brian Chidester
The Villager, Review of “The Machine and the Ghost”, Stephanie Buhmann
Huffington Post Interview with Ridley Howard
Arts in Bushwick, Essay and Review of “The Ghost and the Machine”, Etty Yaniv
Catalogue (97 pages, hardcover) published, essays by Robert Storr, John Yau, Rick Moody, Susan Swenson
Drawing Center Interview, Kate Smith
Wagmag, Review of “Unhinged”, Enrico Gomez
Bushwick Daily, Review of Suite 217 Exhibition, Etty Yaniv
James Kalm Video review of Suite 217 Exhibition
The Boston Globe, Review of “Diagram”, Cate McQuaid
Time Out Chicago, Review of “Observer Effect”
Artslant, Review of “Observer Effect”, Alicia Chester
Information Graphics, Taschen, Sandra Rendgen, author – image reproduced
Art Connect Berlin, Review of “CLAIM”, Mattias Planitzer
Artfridge, Review of “CLAIM”
“John O’Connor,” Essay by Bruce Pearson, Bomb Magazine, No. 114 (Illus.)
Kalm, James, Video Studio Visit: Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio
Shultz, Charles, Review of “What is Toronto?????,”
Review and recommendation, “What is Toronto?????”, WNYC
Buhmann, Stephanie, review of “What is Toronto?????,” Brooklyn Based
Review and recommendation, “What is Toronto?????,”
McClister, Nell. Critics Pick: John J. O’Connor,, June
“Last Call: Spotlight on John J. O’Connor’s Meandering Art, Huffington Post, August 18
Skowhegan Talks, New Museum, NYC; discussion with Fred Tomaselli
Work reproduced in the Judith Rothschild Collection Catalogue Raisonne, MoMA
Town Topics, Review of “Selections,” Ellen Gilbert
Aschheim, Eve. In Conversation: John O’Connor with Eve Aschheim, The Brooklyn Rail, September
Baker, R.C. “John O’Connor,” The Village Voice, September 16
Butler, Sharon. “John O’Connor: Recording small events, missteps, and changes of direction over time,” Two Coats of Paint, September 17
Halperin, Max. Review of “Art on Paper,” Art Papers
Lopez, Robert C. Review of “Art on Paper,” Greensboro News and Record
Patterson, Tom. Review of “Art on Paper,” Winston-Salem Journal
Review (Best in Show) of “Flannel Tongue,” Village Voice
Review of “Elusive Truths,” The Burlington Free Press
Review of “Elusive Truths,” Artscope Magazine
Review of “One Hundred Days in a Year,” Village Voice
Review of and Reproduction from “One Hundred Days in a Year,” New Yorker
Montreuil, Gregory. Review of “One Hundred Days in a Year,” Gay City News
Ocina, Nicole, Reviw of “Superfat,” Brooklyn Eagle
John J. O’Connor, The New Yorker, December 26, 2005–January 2, 2006
John J. O’Connor, The Village Voice, December 14–20
Oncina, Nicole. Brooklyn Eagle, Review of “Superfat,” October 6
Cotter, Holland. The New York Times, Review of “Queens International” Exhibition,
November 12 (Illus.)
Johnson, Ken. The New York Times, Review of “Random Order,” June 6
Cohen, David. The New York Sun, Review of “High and Inside,” June 5
Montreuil, Gregory. Art Papers, Review of “Schemes Out,” March / April
Hawke, John. The Brooklyn Rail, Review of “Schemes Out,” Winter 2003
The New Yorker, Review of “Schemes Out,” December 9
Richard, Frances. Artforum online, Critic’s Pick “Boiled or Fried,” July
Schmerler, Sarah. Time Out New York, Review of “Boiled or Fried,” July
Boxer, Sarah. The New York Times, Review of “Snapshot,” March
Millis, Christopher. Boston Pheonix, Review of Process on Paper, January, Boston, MA
Parcellin, Paul., Review of “Process on Paper,” January, Boston, MA
Johnson, Ken. The New York Times, Review of “Systematic,” January 12. p. E51
New American Painting, Northeast Edition; Boston, MA
O’Sullivan, Michael. The Washington Post, November 17
Plett, Nicole. U.S.1, New Jersey, February 2. pp. 39-40
Philips, Renee. Manhattan Arts International, July
TCHADA, Pratt Institute, July

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (Gift of the Rothschild Foundation)
The New Museum (Gift of the Altoids Curiously Strong Collection)
The Whitney Museum of American Art
Southern Methodist University (Gift of Werner Kramarsky)
Weatherspoon Art Museum, NC
Westfield State College, Westfield, MA
Asheville Museum of Art, NC
Montgomery Museum of Art, AL
Zimmerli Museum of Art of Rutgers, NJ
City Museum of Orlando, FL