My work is concerned with pattern, color, and texture, as well as the continuing conversations concerning materiality and textiles as a means to explore and question painting abstraction. I draw influence from my personal history, traditional craft processes, the natural world, and the saturated palette of mass produced consumer products. My practice as an artist is indebted to a wide range of historical and contemporary artists who questioned and explored ideas of material, abstraction, process, and feminism. I look to the fiber and Post-minimalist artists of the 1960s and 70s, as well as the feminist and Pattern and Decoration arts movements, and the array of contemporary artists whose work deals with process, hand crafts, and painting abstraction. My work continues and expands upon these explorations through the combination and contrast of the varying mediums and processes of textiles and painting. This is visible through my use of both traditional painting surfaces and techniques in combination with textiles processes such as weaving, dyeing, and sewing. I situate myself as an artist within a growing lineage of contemporary painters whose work deals with painting’s intrinsic connection to textiles and craft, exploring its conceptual implications regarding feminism and labor, process and material, and pattern and ornamentation. I seek to combine these varying processes, materials, and motifs in order to acknowledge their correlations and explore the histories and disciplines that have shaped my practice as a contemporary artist.
Isabelle O’Donnell (born 1994 in San Diego, California) is an artist currently based in Portland, Maine, who uses textiles as a means to explore and question painting abstraction. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from Maine College of Art, and has recently exhibited at Able Baker Contemporary (Portland, Maine), the Chocolate Church Arts Center (Bath, Maine), the Institute of Contemporary Art (Portland, Maine), Young Space at Standard Projects (Hortonville, Wisconsin), Space Gallery (Portland, Maine), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Annenberg Gallery (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), and Boston University Stone Gallery (Boston, MA). She received a Publication Fellowship from Peripheral Vision Press, and recently attended the Pace House Residency (Stonington, ME). Her work has been published in ArtMaze Magazine, Friend of the Artist, and Maine Home + Design. She has experience in curation, exhibition planning, and art handling, and was a co-curator for Collective Actions II: Unity of Opposites at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Portland, Maine), and the 2017 BFA Thesis at Maine College of Art. She is currently the Exhibitions Assistant at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland, Maine, as well as the Painting Technician at Maine College of Art.