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Shaun O'Dell

Skull Pile To The Sun

July 8 – August 13, 2006

gallery view of wall of sketches
Sketch of abstract elements
White etching of elephant atop skulls
sketch of rubble with whale on top
TV installation
rainbow orb illustration
abstract symmetrical sketch

Shaun O’Dell
Skull Pile to The Sun
July 8th – August 13th
Gallery hours: Wednesday - Saturday 12 – 6 PM
Opening reception: Friday, July 8th, 6 – 9 PM

Jack Hanley Gallery is pleased to present Skull Pile to the Sun, an exhibition by San Francisco-based artist, Shaun O’Dell.  The exhibition will feature a new series of drawings, video, and an installation composed of a plastered bust of Robert Oppenheimer projected from a solar-powered camera. 

Interweaving folklore, the apocalypse (natural, spiritual), narrative history and perpetuated American myths, Shaun O’Dell uses various media ranging from drawing to sculpture to create a critique on modern man’s disconnectedness with nature.

Alongside the sculptural installation, the exhibition will feature drawings layered with iconography of Americana ranging from Thomas Jefferson’s mythologized mastodon to an emblem representing the romanticized vision of the American will toward expansion and Manifest Destiny.  O’Dell’s visual lexicon creates a lingua franca in which an apocalyptic historical narrative emerges to engage the conflict of two forces which he believes lies at the center of our contemporary culture: Man vs. Nature.


Shaun O’Dell was born in 1968.  Recent solo exhibitions include Wattis Institute Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA; SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA; White Box, New York, NY; Jack Hanley, San Francisco, CA.  He is a recipient of the 2006 Diebenkorn Fellowship and 2005 SECA Award.  He is represented in the collection of  San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; UC Berkeley Museum, Berkeley, CAM.H.; JPMorgan Chase Collection, New York.  He currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.