Melissa Oresky’s SOLO exhibition Tangled Grounds highlights the Chicago artist’s most recent collection of paintings and collages. Incorporating painted paper, cut canvas, and black and white photographs Oresky’s work exists between categories of landscape and abstraction. Oresky often begins her compositions with remembered experiences of real locations. To these observations, she adds invented geometric shapes and organic painted elements. The images are improvisational, but they also reference different scientific subjects such as knot theory, the structures of rocks and minerals, and the anatomy of the nervous system.
Influenced by recent travels, including residencies in New Mexico and Germany, as well as visits to Maine and Maryland, Oresky’s work in Tangled Grounds presents an always shifting, comparative view of landscape. Her backgrounds are often created with simple fields of color; this approach offers the viewer an experience of looking downward, as if walking through an outdoor space. Scattered throughout the spaces are illustratively described rocks and shrubs, as well as painterly marks and geometric forms. Oresky plays with perspective and suggests multiple, simultaneous spaces with this collision of elements, creating tension, and invoking a style that is reminiscent of both surrealism and cubism. She likens her placement of these items to debris, “I am interested in the way debris tends to self-organize, and the way tactile and the structural coexist on the ground.”
Oresky has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art-12 x12: New Artists, the Riverside Art Center- New Work, and Ada Gallery. Recent group exhibitions include the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, OQBO Gallery-Berlin, Germany, and Fountain Studios and Soloway Gallery, -Broolkyn, NY. She is presently an Associate Professor of Art at Illinois State University and a frequent visiting artist lecturer at several Illinois institutions. She received a Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000 and a Bachelors of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996.