Luke O’Halloran


past  Exhibition
October 30 - December 31, 2020

October 30 - December 31, 2020

Kapp Kapp, New York is pleased to announce Luke O’Halloran: Dealing, which marks the artist’s debut solo exhibition with Kapp Kapp.

An impossible twist– Luke O’Halloran’s work captures motion in a static image, as a pin-pointed vector through which an expanse of dynamic motion, tension, and suspended tumult inhabit and flash.

Known for his forever spinning wheels, like those presented in Ordinary Time at OCD Chinatown in 2019, O’Halloran constructed the frame-turned-lottery machine in unending motion, a flirtation with narrative unresolved in its cosmos. In Dealing, O’Halloran expands his lexicon surrounding chance to overtake the whole of the gallery space. With the meticulous flair of the magician, these paintings entice us with risk and reward as we inhabit that airborne moment, living on a teetering cusp of suspense. We know the cards will fall, the magician’s trick will prevail, the fantastical display of the woman sawed in half was an illusion, the cat will land on its feet. And yet, he chooses to paint the moment where the cards are splayed in the air.

O’Halloran represents and performs the magician’s trickery—the sleight of hand where the artifice is known and yet we marvel anyway. The woman sawed in half is not truly sliced in two at the groin, but we indulge in the illusion of that impossible sever; the woman we see in the frame is not a woman at all but an illusion of pigment on canvas.

The setting of these images is in gravity, cards and cats falling, only to defy that gravity by holding the figures in the suspended time zone of the frame. We feel the rush of vertigo, the drop and crash held deep in bodily memory. The backdrop to the series Cards In The Air is an all-engulfing space of smoky blue that recedes to infinity, ocean depths and a comic expanse to bob in. At the gravitational center of this show is a bowling ball-sized, solid glass marble, lush with swirls of color and imbued with planetary force.

O’Halloran points to the inevitable loss or foregone conclusions that we nonetheless delight in—a perversion of failure infused with childlike delight, ecstatic encounter. There is joy in being tricked and losing, giving in to the illusion or taking on the subway busker’s card trick. Or, the thrill of breath held in your chest as the cat twists in the air overtaken with desire for its safe landing, where hope is a force more powerful than knowing. Dealing allows deadly realism and youthful fantasy to cohabitate. The cards, alight with glow or darkened by shadow, that fly through the air might be at the mercy of arbitrary forces guiding their flight and fall. Keep an eye out for aces and eights otherwise known as the Dead Man’s Hand. There beckons the life or death stakes, at the same moment as we revel in what-if.

Dealing dares us to live in a space where the outcome is untold. It’s all up in the air. In this universe there are glimmering gradations of risk and desire, threaded through the promise of chance, where sometimes chance itself is inevitable, yearned for, dreaded, held all together in the same hand, coyly asking you ‘is this your card?”.

Text by Rebecca Teich.

This exhibition will be on view at Kapp Kapp, New York through December 31.

Luke’ O’Halloran (b. 1991, Thousand Oaks, CA) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. O’Halloran received his BFA from University of Colorado, Boulder. Recent exhibitions include Intimate Companions, curated by Joe Sheftel, Mary Heaton Vorse House, Provincetown, MA; 100:01, Y2K Group, New York, NY; and Ordinary Time, OCDchinatown, New York, NY.