The short films of Jacco Olivier do not reveal anything in themselves, but depict the possibility of an event. Painted characters move in a landscape of fiction, memory and a basal actuality.

With a casual but accurate use of traditional and contemporary animation techniques, Olivier creeps into the psyche of his characters. He then allows them to play out in the surroundings they find themselves in. He subtly evokes atmospheres which conventionally only ever exist in the realm of painting. His is a painting of which the paint has not set, but is in constant motion.

The videos have a narrative quality, but no plot. Past, present, memory and the future are intertwined. In longer films such as ‘Landscape’ & ‘Revolution’, time is compressed into a nearly abstract image that the viewer perceives in a contemplative state.

Olivier allows a whale, his own head, the universe, a beetle, a man wading through a river and a woman sitting in a bus to appear as self-evident and natural characters that at the same time seem to search within themselves, in a continually changing world of exotic and tangible paint.

ABOUT Jacco Olivier

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. The resulting films are enigmatic and experiential – moving in and out of abstraction they reveal the traces and decisions made by the artist in the process of painting. While there is a clear and quite complex process involved in their creation, Olivier does not set a thematic agenda for the works, or for their relationship to one another. The films are instead imagined as windows onto converging, and often elegantly simple, moments of daily life – a bus journey, a swim in the ocean, or a walk through the woods. At this convergence of painting and cinema, however, lies an uneasy tension, a feeling that something is about to happen or has just happened that is unexpected and beyond our control.

Jacco Olivier is a graduate of the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. He has exhibited worldwide, notably at ZKM, Karlsruhe; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY; Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht; MCA Denver, CO; The 56th Venice Biennial, Venice; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem; New York City Center/New Museum, New York, NY, and GEM, The Hague. His art is held in many public collections, including Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; the Honart Museum, Tehran; the Zabludowicz Collection, London, and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL. In 2019, he was awarded the Jeanne Oosting Prize for figurative painting in The Netherlands.

Jacco Olivier was born in 1972 in Goes, The Netherlands
He lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands