Jacco Olivier fuses painting and filmmaking by repeatedly reworking paintings in generous casual brush strokes and systematically photographing each development. The various stages are combined into projected animations that are both enigmatic and experiential.
Victoria Miro is delighted to announce Jacco Olivier's third solo exhibition at the gallery. The new body of work represents a shift in his practice, away from intimate projections characteristic to Olivier, in favour of larger scale works closer to the language of painting than that of animation. The shift in scale also brings to the fore the viewer's relationship to the work as an object, adding a spatial and physical dimension to the viewing experience.
The films in the lower gallery deploy traditional painting subjects such as still life, bathers, landscape and portraiture. By pushing the painterly fields to the edge of abstraction, Olivier makes a departure from storytelling of his smaller projections. The aerial view of Landscape, painted from memory, lends to a feeling of flying over ever changing abstracted fields. In Reflection, Olivier binds together three slowly changing landscapes, layered one above the other, through what appears as four figures on a beach reflected on the surface of water.
Consistent with the classical themes, Bath concentrates upon a bather - famously the subject of Renoir, Degas, Matisse and Cézanne - drying herself with a towel. Freed from complex narratives and the subject's surroundings, Olivier's film draws attention to the solitary woman alone and the simple act she is performing. In contrast Transition shows a naked figure of a man walking into a pool of water. The increasingly abstracted setting enveloping the bather, until he disappears completely.
Revolution, a large-scale film that occupies the upper gallery, displays a universe rotating around an imaginary axis. The twenty-four minute film encompasses the cycle of a single day with each minute representing an hour. Planets, stars and galaxies spin and swirl in a circular motion across the screen slowly unravelling as they pivot over the course of passing minutes. As the shades shift from twilight into daylight, into darkness and back, the viewer becomes immersed in a silent realm of changing moods and atmospheres of the universe.
These more contemplative films see Olivier gradually freeing himself from narrative framework he previously employed, opening up a space for sensations of perception, consciousness and memory.
Jacco Olivier lives and works in Amsterdam. In 2010 the artist had solo exhibitions at the Marianne Boesky, New York, Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Texas. He has a solo exhibition opening in September at the Centro de Arte Contempor·neo de Caja de Burgos, Spain. Olivier is also included in the 8th SITE Santa Fe Biennial: The Dissolve, curated by Daniel Belasco and Sarah Lewis, June 18, 2010 - January 2, 2011.