boston

John O’Reilly

Miller Yezerski Gallery

Miniaturist John O’Reilly has been constructing montages since the late ’60s, creating photographic tableaux from pictures and props that he reassembles into complex worlds that are always poetic and intimate. The black-and-white Polaroid montages in the series “Panoramas,” 2002–2004, average only about four or five inches in height but stretch up to twenty-three inches across, establishing a cinematic space. Using an uncoated film that allows him more time to compose the assemblages, O’Reilly’s pasted-together photographs unite allusive narrative in cubistic space. These sixteen works are characterized by dynamic surfaces, meticulous craftsmanship, and an improvisational quality. The seventy-four-year-old O’Reilly, whose themes are art, war, and death, uses a simple vintage camera, scissors, ink, and paste to produce multilayered work.

Many of O’Reilly’s favored cast of characters—which

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