Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Dutch artist Jacco Olivier. This is the artist’s third solo show at the gallery.
Fusing painting and filmmaking, Jacco Olivier continually reworks his canvases, photographing each iteration and brushstroke, and finally combining the various stages with their liquid color into films. The subject matter of Olivier’s new work represents a notable shift, as the artist frees the films from the loose narrative framework he had previously employed, moving away from the language of animated film and more towards that of painting. Appropriating traditional painting subjects such as bathers, landscape, and portraiture, and pushing them at times to the edge of abstraction, the artist creates lush, painterly films. Olivier magnifies his new works to a variety of larger scales, eschewing the intimately-scaled projections of his previous work so that the films become a more “human” size; a corporeal one, in keeping with that of the painted canvas.
Olivier’s new films unravel and reveal themselves in a slower manner, offering a space for contemplation as they spool over the course of several minutes. Subjects are exposed with a sharper focus, while action remains at a minimum. In Bath, Olivier steadies his gaze upon a solitary nude figure, who dries her body off with a towel. Olivier borrows the bather, as a classic and oft-painted subject of Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Matisse, deconstructing the figure to her most elemental components against a shifting azure background, devoid of any outside references.
With a nominal use of realism, the films Landscape and Transition explore shifting landscapes and non-linear space. In Landscape images are painted from memory, as an amorphous strip of land passes slowly beneath an aerial view. A man simply enters a body of water in Transition, swallowed amid the undefined, swirling space as a sense of mortality prevails.
The expansive film, Revolution, contains a universe revolving about an imaginary pivot point that envelops the viewer. The galaxy unhurriedly expands and contracts from rendered planets and stars to entirely abstract painted swaths. Over the course of a twenty-four-minute cycle, with each minute representing an hour, the film moves through an entire day, from warm sunlight to black void and back again. Olivier notes his inclination for, “the paint that has fallen between the lines…all those unintentional marks and pieces holding the universe together.” Revolution explores those undefined markings, conjuring up a space for the viewer to enter into a meditative, silent realm.
Jacco Olivier lives and works in Amsterdam. The artist will have solo exhibitions at the Blaffer Gallery of the University of Houston, Texas in May – July, 2010, and at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Caja de Burgos, Spain in the fall of 2010. Olivier is included in the upcoming SITE Santa Fe 8th Biennial: The Dissolve, curated by Daniel Belasco and Sarah Lewis.