Home, 1996 (detail)

At first appearance, Thom O’Connor’s quiet and subtly nuance relief prints seem to belong to the tradition of monochromatic abstraction; in fact their compositions recall nothing so much as the constructivist tradition of solitary lines stretching across stark planes of single colors. The overall title of his current series, however, is The Road North, which seems to indicate that he is interested in at least the possibility of representation. As our eye follows the movement of the white line, the introduction of a tributary branching off in a different direction suggests distance, direction and even topography. Once we have accustomed ourselves to seeing O’Connor’s work as residing midway between the openness of abstraction and the specificity of mapping, we also begin to explore the idea that many of our images of ‘reality’ are in turn based on the kinds of geometrical traditions that began the century, and that the separations between abstraction and representation are no longer as clear-cut as they seemed.

(excerpt from Dan Cameron's catalog essay, click to see full text)