Jack O'Brien - Camden Art Centre

As the 2023 recipient of Camden Art Centre’s Emerging Artist Prize at Frieze, London-based artist Jack O’Brien will develop a major new commission for Camden’s iconic Gallery Three in the autumn of 2024.

O’Brien was awarded the prize for his presentation at Frieze Focus, with his gallery Ginny on Frederick, centred around a large site-specific sculpture—Volent—which repurposed an historical English horse-racing carriage, wrapping it in layers of industrial polythene.

O’Brien describes the objects and materials he incorporates in his work as “eloquent texts” that encode cultural and historical meaning. Manipulating them by twisting, binding, stretching or puncturing feels charged with the erotic and probes at taboo, fetish and the commodification of queer aesthetics. His signature gesture of tightly wrapping objects with industrial polythene submits them to a kind of restraint that accentuates their outer form whilst withholding full legibility, pushing towards abstraction. O’Brien’s practice encompasses painting and drawing as well as sculpture exploring the production of desire and the aesthetic codes of late-capitalist consumption.

Jack O’Brien (b.1993) lives and works in London and is represented by Ginny on Frederick. Recent solo and duo exhibitions include: The Answer, Sans Titre Invites, Paris, FR (2023); To More Time, Lockup International, London, UK (2022); The Influence of Emotions On Associated Reactions, with Henryk Morel (1937-68), Polamagnetczne Gallery, Warsaw, PL (2022) and Waiting For The Sun To Kill Me, Ginny on Frederick, London, UK (2021). Recent group exhibitions include: Support Structures, Gathering, London, UK (2023); Memory of Rib, N/A Gallery, Seoul, KR (2022); Chômage Technique, Lovaas Projects, Munich, DE (2022); Something is Burning, Kunsthalle Bratislava, SK (2022); An Insular Rococo, Hollybush Gardens, London, UK (2022) and Strange Messengers, Peres Projects, Berlin, DE (2018).