paris

Mel O’Callaghan, En Masse (blue and black iridescent pull), 2017, acrylic on glass, 63 × 47 1/4". From the series “En Masse,” 2017–.

Mel O’Callaghan

Galerie Allen

Mel O’Callaghan, En Masse (blue and black iridescent pull), 2017, acrylic on glass, 63 × 47 1/4". From the series “En Masse,” 2017–.

For the better part of the past decade, Mel O’Callaghan has produced large-scale performances and installations for venues including the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2016 and 2017) and the Sydney Biennale (2014), all the while quietly making paintings in the privacy of her studio. The artist’s recent exhibition at Galerie Allen (which she cofounded in 2013 with curator Joseph Allen Shea) marked the first public glimpse of this heretofore unseen body of work. While representing a significant material departure for the Paris-based Australian—whose better-known work typically combines elements of dance, ritual, and meditation—her paintings on glass remain intrinsically connected to movement, the body, and time.

Collectively titled “En Masse,” the four two-tone paintings in this series (all works 2017) were made with household acrylic paint poured directly onto human-scale (

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