Mira O’Brien is an American visual-artist based in Berlin since 2008. Her practice includes painting, installation and pedagogy, with a focus on the human relationship with nature. She received her BA from UCLA (2004) and her MFA from Yale (2008). She is the recipient of many awards and residencies; recently her exhibition, publication and workshop series “A Curious Herbal” was awarded the Draussen Stadt grant by the Berlin Senate. Her work has been included in institutional exhibitions at venues such as Documenta (13), Torrance Art Museum, Kunsthalle CCA Andratx, New Mexico Museum of Art and others; as well as galleries such as David Zwirner in NY and ChertLüdde’s project space in Berlin. She has had solo exhibitions in Berlin, Zürich, Venice, San Francisco and Cologne; and group shows all over the world. She is the founder of the Berlin Drawing Room, an independent art school.
b. 1982, USA
Based in Berlin, Germany.
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
UCLA (University of California Los Angeles)
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Fine Art with a minor in Philosophy
Awards & Residencies
Draussen Stadt (Stiftung für Kulturelle Weiterbildung, Berlin Senate) Award Recipient, “A Curious Herbal: workshop, exhibition and publication”, 2022
Artist in Residence, Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy, 2016
Berlin Collective Artist in Residence at APT Studios, Brooklyn, NY, 2014
CCA Andratx Artist-in-Residence program, Mallorca, Spain, 2013
Project Grant from US Embassy in Germany for “Brittle Thicket”, 2010
Pilot Projekt Gropiusstadt, Berlin, Germany, 2009
Schoelkopf Travel Grant Prize (with travel to Uzbekistan and Russia), 2007
Lillian Levinson Award, UCLA, 2004
Resident Artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN, 2004
Hoyt Scholarship, UCLA, 2003
Imperfect Barriers, DD55, Köln, Germany, 2017
Shade, with Tarren Johnson, Tanztage, Sophiensaele, Berlin, 2017
Glaspalast, excerpt Porcino Gallery, project space of ChertLüdde, Berlin, 2016
Ohne einen Glaspalast, Berlin Weekly, Berlin, 2016
Leaked Prints, Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy, 2016
lebendig im Kristall, Die Diele, Zürich, Switzerland, 2016
if-then-else, with Tarren Johnson, State of the Art, Berlin, Germany, 2015
The Spoils of Transparency, General Public, Berlin, Germany, 2013
Brittle Thicket, Vierter Stock Galerie, Berlin, Germany, 2010
When Breaking a Current, (“Spurlose Bahnen”) Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin, Germany, 2009
Landfall Live Worms Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2006
Group Exhibitions (selected)
2022 A Curious Herbal Prinzessinnengarten, Berlin
2019 Power Cage, State Gallery, Berlin
2018 Das Haus 2, Marktplatz der Möglichkeiten, Köln
Frozen to Pieces, Gussglasshalle, Berlin
2017 Preservation, KUNSTSAELE, Berlin
2016 Under the Surface, DD55, Köln, Germany
Unfixed Positions, BALTSprojects, Zürich, Switzerland
Drawing Part 2, Lokal14, Zürich, Switzerland
Kantine, Bedsitter Art Fair Vienna, Austria
Berliner Bahnhof, Kunsthalle CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain
Gallery Tally, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
On Site in 16 Cities, Babette, Berlin/ Create or Die, Sydney/ Chéri, NY, NY
2015 Looking Forward, Looking Back New Mexico Museum of Art, NM, USA
2014 Geteilte Stadt/ Divided City, Artspace Pot72, Berlin
Person, Place or Thing, 68projects, Berlin
Fresh, Kunsthalle CCA Andratx, Spain
Trockene Wahrheiten, Schau Fenster, Berlin
Gallery Tally Project, For Your Art, Los Angeles,
– travel to Área: Lugar de Proyectos in Caguas, Puerto Rico
2013 On Looking, Kunsthalle Galapagos, Brooklyn, NY
Über das geistige in der Kunst Poseidon Projekte, Berlin
2012 Die Letze Metro, Galerie Metro, Berlin
No Illusion, Kreuzberg Pavillon in Kassel (program of Documenta), Kassel, Germany
Fuel for the Fire, David Zwirner, A Temporary Space, NY, NY
Do It Again: Repetition, Reflection and Repulsion, Galerie Europa/ HBC Berlin.
Shelf Life ,Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin, Germany.
2011 Transregional Aesthetics, Castle Inn Gallery in Delaware Water Gap, PA.
Navigating Darkness, Tape Modern, Berlin, Germany.
Follow the Broken, Stefan Demming, Gianni Moretti, Mira O’Brien, Kreuzberg Pavillon, Berlin.
XYZ: about understanding, curated by Marc Bijl, Atelierhof Kreuzberg, Berlin.
2010 GP Site Exploration, Golden Parachutes, Berlin, Germany.
Love Letters To A Surrogate, Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
2009 Outside In, La Viola Bank Gallery, NY, NY
In Real Time, Capricious Gallery, NY, NY
2008 Yale MFA Thesis Exhibition Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT 2007A Summer Introduction Togonon Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Is That All There is to Fire?, High Energy Construct, Los Angeles, CA
The Greek Play, Root Division, San Francisco,CA
2006 Fevered Days Like Waters Cool Hayworth Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Anyhere But Where? Circus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Berlin Drawing Room
Founder : 2011-current
Berlin Drawing Room is an independent school for drawing and painting that I founded in 2011. I curate the program, commissioning workshops from professional artists.
Berlin Drawing Room
Drawing, painting and botanical watercolor workshops at Berlin Drawing Room. Collaborators: Prinzessinnengarten Kollektiv Berlin, Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) Berlin
Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Oregon, USA
Workshop Instructor: 2022
Wild Botanical Watercolor Workshop
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Workshop Instructor: 2019, 2020
Wunderkammer Watercolor Workshop
St Paul’s Girls’ School, London
“How to Remember, How to Forget”
Workshop Instructor and Study Abroad Coordinator: 2017
Chapman University, Los Angeles/ Berlin Collective, Berlin
“The Art of Walking” Instructor/ Study-Abroad Coordinator: 2013
London Freemen’s School, London
Berlin Collective, Berlin/NYC
Program Director: 2010-2013
Workshop Instructor: 2013
Coordinated exhibitions, artist talks, internships, and study abroad program in Berlin.