Morgan O’Hara ( b.1941, Los Angeles)
Morgan O’Hara was born in Los Angeles and raised in an international community in post-war Japan. She earned a Master’s Degree in Art from California State University at Los Angeles, and had her first solo exhibition in the Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1978. Her practice researches the vital movement of living beings through drawing. In 1989 she began doing performative drawing in international performance art festivals, did her first site specific wall drawings and began the practice of aikido, a Japanese martial art. In 1997 O’Hara’s work was honored with a solo show in the newly opened Drawing Room at the Drawing Center in New York. O’Hara lived in Europe for 25 years, and now lives in New York and works internationally. She has been a member of the Elizabeth Foundation in 2010. Her work is in the permanent collections of many institutions, including: Czech National Gallery, Prague; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Macau Art Museum, Macau, China; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the British Museum, London.
Her work is culturally contextualized in the practice of drawing as a fundamental human endeavor and is continuous with the time-honored practice of drawing from life. It requires connection, direct observation and LIVE TRANSMISSION. She draws from and builds on the historical continuum of the field. This work transcends the arbitrary “oppositions” between abstract and figurative art, between purely gestural expression and documentary intent, creating narrative work which results in a final product which is not figurative. The drawings themselves become a third actor or mediator in the experience. That which was beneath notice becomes concretized on the page as the paper receives the image.