San Francisco

Alfred O’Shaughnessy

Studio Ex­hibit

With this exhibit is marked the emergence of one of the most gifted draftsmen the Bay Area has seen in some time. O’Shaughnessy’s total out­put to date has been drawings, draw­ings which are intensely involved emo­tional experiences. Trapped people, depressed people, soggy and depraved people, vivacious people, haunted peo­ple, all are woven into the fabric of these drawings.

O’Shaughnessy’s approach to draw­ing falls roughly into two categories. The first is the instant approach; i.e., he will sketch from a given person in a public place as the subject walks, or lifts a glass, or gestures. All must be captured in a fleeting moment. The direct motion of the artist must reflect the direct mo­tion of the unsuspecting model. The second approach feeds off the first. The drawings done in public places are brought back to the studio and pushed further, re-worked and perhaps, even destroyed. From the overworking or “killing” of these drawings come fresh ideas gained in the process of forcing pictorial issues. A series of reclining female nudes is the result of this second type of engagement. Between twenty-five and thirty large drawings, each unique because of O’Shaughnes­sy’s constant probing and re-evaluation of the single basic pose, comprise the high point of this show. Re-use of the one pose allows him the freedom to re­invent whole areas within the general structure of the model’s body. The result­ant series of work not only advances O’Shaughnessy’s development but gives this region a new graphic artist of very high quality.

James Monte