Katarina Wong reviews the recent exhibition Alex O’Neal: Hiding Places in a Dream at Linda Warren Projects, Chicago.
Wong writes: "O’Neal tends to pack all of the action in the foreground of his paintings, so much so that it feels as if the air has been purposefully sucked out of the space. People and objects, painted and collaged, overlap to create walls of visual information and a tension between what is hidden and what’s revealed. Flags, veils, funerary wreaths, even closed eyes make it difficult to know if the barriers in his pieces are meant to keep viewer out or to protect those within. Is there something behind the wall of images? Or are these overwhelming images meant to guard us against an emptiness looming behind them?"