Eileen O’Kane Kornreich

Solitude Told in 7 Fables

Artist Statement
My art traverses the boundaries of expression, narration and abstraction. I take a fluid approach to art-making informed by these trajectories in which I place drawings in my paintings and paintings in my drawings. Textured surfaces emerge from detailed and precise layering. Mark-making defines my process: whether cutting into layers, erasing lines, or blocking out forms, the history of my work is evident throughout my practice. These hints of past versions of my artwork point toward a true form that has been grasped many times, altered, and worn out over time. My artwork recently incorporates gestures and mark-making in diverse mediums including sculpture in clay relief and screenprinting: I am constantly inspired to continue the search for how to best present layers of texture and line in my practice. By embedding core precepts of my approach into a range of materials, I can better gain a sense of the concrete nature of the themes which I am investigating.

The overlap of history, identity and ecology inform the themes I allude to in my practice. In recent work, I directly reference Mesopotamian mythology and explore social conditions of the time along with the potent visual power imbued within deities from this time period, searching for resonance and relevance of these ideologies in contemporary life. My interest lies in reaching across the barrier of time to portray beauty, love, sex, and identity. Exploring non-binary beauty is also a core theme in my work, as gender-fluid deities pervade my narrative works in dialogue with abstract landscape and flat planes of color. These non-binary deities carry regal trappings, draped with luxurious feathers and beads. This juxtaposition between these deities’ apparent finery and their meaning as protection from war and destruction piques my interest. My work engages with this dichotomy, examining beauty in the wake of war and destruction and offering an examination of the tension that binds and divides these two aspects of the social contract.

Eileen O’Kane Kornreich is a visual artist living in New York. She has created paintings and drawings since the mid-1970s. In 1978 Eileen had two shows that helped to re-establish Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton as a DIY gallery and also showed her work at artist spaces in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side through the 1980s. For several years from the late 1970s to 1981, she worked as a studio assistant for Ray Parker and Dane Dixon in de Kooning’s prep studio in Springs, NY. After years working as a full-time creative food concepts chef to support her family, she has returned to full-time artmaking since 2014. She has participated in residencies at The Watermill Center and School for Visual Arts. Last year, the artist became a finalist for the Lighthouse Works Fellowship and this year she is participating in an Atlantic Center Master Artist Residency.