Catherine O'Donnell: Urban Abstraction - Art Collector

Catherine O’Donnell, ‘Sirius #2’, 2018. Charcoal and graphite on paper, 56 x 76cm. Courtesy: the artist and MAY SPACE Gallery, Waterloo. 

  ‘Urban Abstraction’ is a suite of drawings based on the Brutalist architecture of social housing in Paris and Sydney developed in the mid 1900s. In these geometric constructions O'Donnell sees simplicity of form, and it is this that captures my imagination. She draws what she regards as beautiful or interesting in order to highlight the power of the ordinary, commonplace architecture of the urban landscape. At first glance these qualities may not be evident, as these housing developments are not always given the same value as other housing. But to O'Donnell, these buildings are so much more than the physical embodiment of the post-war utopian ideals and principles of European modernism. They have been and still are home for many people. 

"I use the representational forms of these places in a minimal, abstracted way. This allows me to explore the compositional potential and underlying symmetry of these dwellings. My drawings display order, abstraction, and geometry, as to elevate these structures through aesthetic contemplation, contradicting the ordinariness of their existence and allowing for the possibility of transcendence." says O'Donnell.

Exhibition opens: 3-5pm, Saturday 17 November 2018. 

Exhibition closes: 2 December 2018

Location: MAY SPACE, 409b George Street, Waterloo


Phone: 02 9318 1122



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