Gallery Artists > John O'Shea Biography :

John O'Shea (1876 - 1956)  Artworks >>

O'Shea, born in Ballintaylor, Dungarvan (Waterford County), Ireland on October 15, 1876, came to the United States when he was about twenty years of age. In New York City, he was a student at the Adelphi Academy and at the Art Students League, under George Bridgman (1864-1943), author of Constructive Anatomy. O'Shea went to Pasadena in 1913 where his works were quickly exhibited in one-man shows. Two years later, he moved to Laguna Beach and in 1917 he moved again, this time to Carmel Highlands, where he became involved in Carmel and San Francisco arts organizations. After a trip to New York, where his canvases were featured in a Kingore Galleries exhibition, O'Shea married Molly Pollock Shaughnessy. The couple established residence back in Carmel Highlands in a new home, which they named "Tynalacan." O'Shea traveled to Arizona, to the South Pacific, to Mexico, and to Hawaii; each exotic location provided material for his paintings. He remained an active member of the Carmel Art Association, where he was elected president in 1937 and 1938. In the late 1940s, O'Shea ceased painting but was remembered in his obituary (Carmel Pine-Cone Cymbal, 3 May 1956) as "one of Carmel's most distinguished artists." His death in Carmel was on April 20, 1956. O'Shea was admired for his tendency to experiment using a "fresh and vigorous" approach (Cravens, 1934). His coastal scenes are dominated by the rich, highly saturated deep blues that we associate with California impressionism. O'Shea, however, went beyond broken color and devised a bold, thick impasto and abstracted forms in a post-impressionist manner. His jagged edges, sharp contours, and outlined forms all lie outside the bounds of impressionist practice. Source

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