Shaun O'Dell's work—which includes drawings, paintings, videos, music, and sculpture—explores the intertwining realities of chaos and order. He has exhibited his work at many venues, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hammer Museum at UCLA, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, A Foundation (Liverpool, England), In Situ Gallery (Paris), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, White Box (New York), Jack Hanley Gallery (San Francisco and Los Angeles), Susan Inglett Gallery (New York), Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York), and Inman Gallery (Houston). His work is held in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York's Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, and Berkeley Art Museum.
O'Dell earned his MFA from Stanford University. He is the recipient of the 2009 Tournesol Award, 2006 Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship from the San Francisco Art Institute, 2005 Artadia Award, 2004 SECA Art Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and a 2002 fellowship award from the Fleishhacker Foundation. He currently teaches in the graduate department at California College of the Arts, having previous taught classes at Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco Art Institute. He is the co-organizer of The New New Masses, a lecture series on art and politics, and THE SOMETHING, an improvisational multimedia performance that promotes collective inquiry.
In his recent work, O'Dell has developed a system of creative production that models the natural dialectical processes at work in nature. During his residency at Island Press in fall 2013, he worked at sites around St. Louis, including Cahokia Mounds and the Gateway Arch, creating plates and images on site in keeping with his system for creative production, which embraces improvisation and flux.