Melissa Oresky’s paintings, collages, and videos relate to landscape as a source of pleasure, of strangeness, but also anxiety. Over the last decade and a half, Oresky has made work that explores various locations and kinds of spaces, channeled through an evolving vocabulary rooted in abstraction. Her work incorporates geometric elements with organic ones, and systematic structures with overt materiality.
Oresky’s recent work examines the immediate contents of landscape—the plants and mineral forms found there. Layered spaces and color activity alternately orient and disorient the viewer. Her earlier work transposed bodily imagery (such as nerve cells) within spaces such as gardens and glaciers. With a strong interest in scientific imagery and ideas, Oresky observes the logics of landscape and applies them in the studio.
Notable solo exhibitions include The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; The Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, Illinois; and the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. Group Exhibitions include TSA New York, Brooklyn; OQBO gallery, Berlin; The Engine Room, Massey University, New Zealand; Devening Projects, Chicago; 65GRAND, Chicago; and SCA Contemporary, Albuquerque. She has been a fellow at artist’s residencies including Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona; Schloss Pluschow, Germany; Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico; and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. She was the recipient of a 2005 Illinois Arts Council fellowship.
Oresky received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She currently lives and works in Bloomington, Illinois where she is an Associate Professor of painting at Illinois State University.