Tim O’Kane has made a career as a figurative painter, an artist capturing people napping on couches, teacups sitting on countertops, and bowls brimming with eggplants, all in a hyperrealistic style.
But viewers of “One Intention in a Troubled World,” O’Kane’s September show at Chroma Projects will see a different facet of the artist’s work. The series features objects wrapped in paper and sitting in boxes, variously concealed and revealed; it explores in O’Kane’s signature style the abstract subject matter of dreams and dreaming.
O’Kane says the series developed intuitively between 2008 and now, and while it’s hard for him to discern exactly when he had the idea, he says it could have started in New York, with the purchase of an assortment of objects in a Chinese store. O’Kane noticed how the cashier carefully wrapped each individual object in newspaper covered in Chinese characters that reminded him of the lines on some stones he found in Sicily.
Back in his studio, he arranged objects in paper (some is printed with Japanese translations of his own poetry) and in boxes. He says that as the series of enigmatic still lifes progressed over the decade, the concept became more abstracted, more surreal, an exercise in discerning “significant meaning that’s outside the idea of figurative work.”
In “Night Yields,” a box floats above a sheet of creased, dark blue paper that’s been folded and unfolded, like the night. The box, which O’Kane calls “a tangle of things” presents to the viewer a mystery: What’s inside? But, because the box is a painting, there’s no way to open it.
For O’Kane, wondering what’s inside the box is a mystery akin to waking up knowing that you’ve dreamed. Perhaps parts of the dream linger and you try to make sense of it as it sticks with you throughout the day, in good ways or in bad. The dream is both real and not real, it means something and yet nothing at all. It’s a significance that, even when we think we can see it clearly, we can never truly possess.
There’ll be lots to see when C-VILLE looks at art from inside the gallery. What do curators consider when filling local walls? Who decided to place that sculpture in that corner? What are we not seeing in local art?
FF Angelo Jewelry 220 E. Main St. “Out of Season,” featuring Mae Read’s oil painting meditations on permanence/impermanence, perceptions of beauty, and solitude. 5:30-7:30pm.
Annie Gould Gallery 121B S. Main St., Gordonsville. An exhibition of works by William Van Doren and Erica Lohan, focusing on distant and intimate points of nature. Opens Sept. 8.
Art on the Trax 5784 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. A show of Frederick Nichols’ four decades of work, all concerned with beauty and picturesque landscape. Opens Sept. 8.
Batten Institute at the Darden School of Business. “Luna Moth,” a mural by Christy Baker; and “Small Graces,” an exhibition of photography by Bill Mauzy. Opens Sept. 12.
FF The Bridge PAI 209 Monticello Rd. Artists Jum Jirapan, Karina Monroy, and Aidyn Mills have put down the ocular lens and taken up the heart, the mind, and the body to create and celebrate art in this joint exhibition of the work that they’ve developed in The Bridge’s collaborative residency. 5:30pm.
Buck Mountain Episcopal Church 4133 Earlysville Rd., Earlysville. “Buddha Cat and More: Mixed-Media Drawings and Book” by Susan McCulley.
FF Chroma Projects 103 W. Water St. “One Intention in a Troubled World,” featuring a collection of paintings by Tim O’Kane that centers on around the wrapping of things. 5-7pm.
FF CitySpace Art Gallery 100 Fifth St. NE. An exhibition featuring work from VSA Art artists. 5:30-7:30pm.
Create Gallery at Indoor Biotechnologies, 700 Harris St. “The Livestock Marker Show Continues,” an exhibition of Kathy Kuhlman’s work made from phototransfer and livestock markers on paper or clayboard.
Crozet Artisan Depot 5791 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. “Crystals, Textures, and Flowing Gazes,” featuring pottery by Leah Olivier. Opens Sept. 8.
FF C’ville Arts Cooperative Gallery 118 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. “A Passion for Purpose,” an exhibition of pottery by Nan Rothwell. 6-8pm.
FF Dovetail Design + Cabinetry 309 E. Water St. Featuring Brian Geiger’s resin-poured works exploring the boundaries between fluid and solid. 5-7pm.
The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA 155 Rugby Rd. “In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior 1950-Now”; “Reflections: Native Art Across Generations”; “Excavations: The Prints of Julie Mehretu”; and “Oriforme” by Jean Arp.
FF The Garage 100 W. Jefferson St. “Hole in the Wall,” a one-night-only popup exhibition featuring large-scale abstract works from Chattanooga, Tennessee, artist Addie Chapin. 5:30-7:30pm.
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection 400 Worrell Dr. “Beyond Dreamings: The Rise of Indigenous Australian Art in the United States,” revealing the ways in which, since 1988, Indigenous Australian artists have forged one of the most globally significant art movements of our time; and “Experimental Beds,” in which Judy Watson removes the whitewash from concealed histories.
Les Yeux du Monde 841 Wolf Trap Rd. “Out of the Light Into the Light,” an exhibition of still-life paintings by art historian, critic, philosopher, and painter David Summers.
FF McGuffey Art Center 201 Second St. NW. “Verisimilitude,” a selection of abstract works on canvas by J.M. Henry that echo ghosts, flags, and shields, in the Sarah B. Smith Gallery; and the 27th consecutive Central Virginia Watercolor Guild annual juried exhibition. 5:30-7:30pm.
FF Milli Coffee Roasters 400 Preston Ave. Ste. 150. “Braveheart,” featuring acrylic paintings on canvas by Kaitlin Jungles. 7-10pm.
FF New Dominion Bookshop 404 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. An exhibition of paintings by Uzo Njoku. 5-7pm.
Northside Library 705 Rio Rd. W. “Fragile Eden,” a photography show by Gary Powell.
FF Roy Wheeler Realty Co. 404 Eighth St. NE. An exhibition of work by Sara Gondwe, who uses melted crayons and metallic fabric paint to create abstracts, trees, florals, fish, and more. 5-7:30pm.
FF The Salad Maker 300 E. Market St. A show of digital art by J. Perry Fitzhugh, an artist making full use of current technology without succumbing to it. 6-7:30pm.
FF Second Street Gallery 115 Second St. SE. In the main gallery, “water. poison. drink. dive.,” an exhibition of paintings, works on paper, and puppets by Lana Guerra; in the Dové Gallery, the “Teeny Tiny Trifecta” group show featuring small-scale works in a variety of media by more than 70 artists. 5:30-7:30pm.
Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital 500 Martha Jefferson Dr. An exhibition of five landscape paintings by impressionist artist Lee Nixon.
Shenandoah Valley Art Center 122 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro. Featuring work from the BozART collective. Opens Sept. 8.
FF Spring Street Boutique 107 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. Original acrylic paintings and giclée on canvas prints by Jack Graves III. 6-8pm.
FF Studio IX 969 Second St. SE. “Don’ttalk to strangers,” a series of portraits of artist Richard Needham’s fellow humans, captured with a Pentax 67 medium-format camera. 5-8pm.
The Great Frame Up 1860 Rio Hill Ctr. Entries in a photography contest to benefit the Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian-Universalist 717 Rugby Rd. “Abstract Meditation on Geology,” featuring paintings by Shirley Paul. Opens Sept. 9.
FF VMDO Architects 200 E. Market St. “Main Street: Two Artists’ Viewpoints,” a show of photography by Vicenzo Lupinetti and Steve Wilcox. 5:30-7:30pm.
FF Top Knot Studio 103 Fifth St. SE. “An Artist’s Process,” a show of mixed media work by Sri Kodakalla. 5:30-7:30.
The Wayne Theatre 521 W. Main St., Waynesboro. “13 Perspectives,” an exhibition of contemporary fibert art by members of the Washington, D.C.-area group New Image.
FF Welcome Gallery 114 Third St. NE. “She Said, He Said,” featuring Valencia Robin’s vibrant, lyrical paintings and Matt Smithson’s bold, surreal illustrations. 5-7:30pm.
FF WriterHouse 508 Dale Ave. “Abstract by Intuition,” acrylic and multi-media works by Philip Martin. 5-7pm.
Woodberry Forest School, 898 Woodberry Forest Rd., Woodberry. “Coming Together,” a show of large oil paintings by Richard Wyvill and a composite piece of unique canvases by the Firnew Farm Artists’ Circle.
FF First Fridays is a monthly art event featuring exhibit openings at many downtown art galleries and additional exhibition venues. Several spaces offer receptions.