press release

Opening Reception SATURDAY: Sept. 15th 5- 7pm

In a musical composition a nocturne is intended to evoke the unsettling beauty of the night and is often closely associated with a serenade. But while a serenade is a love song, nocturnes are always conflicted. They are elusive and ambivalent, at once happy and sad, passionate and restrained. In his upcoming exhibition Nocturnes at Howard Yezerski Gallery John O'Reilly will feature fourteen photomontages that were made using found photographs from a World War II photo album. The montages in this exhibition suggest a dark cosmos that is both terrible and beautiful. They are a kind of Bruegelian parable addressing aging, war, and our current world.

The arrangement of montages in this exhibition portrays the dead as indiscriminate fragments in a larger mosaic of life being lived. Imagery of soldiers and combat zones seamlessly combine with youths of an earlier era as evocations of the past that relieve the dreaded finality of extinction. Each narrative travels your gaze through idyllic scenery that is intertwined with death, and war. Sweet innocence is met with the harsh reality of death leaving a bit more of a sting than a sweet serenade.

O'Reilly's work has been included in the 1995 Whitney Biennial as well as exhibitions in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. His photographs can be found in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art; Bowdoin College, the DeCordova Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Rose Art Museum, and the Worcester Art Museum.d.

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John O´Reilly