Light work: artist Jacco Olivier fuses painting and film to mysterious effect


ART / 14 JAN 2016 / BY PEI-RU KEH

Painting and video might seem like creative techniques from two different eras, but the Dutch painter Jacco Olivier has enabled them to live harmoniously side by side in his colourful, amorphous oeuvre.

Olivier unveiled a new exhibition in New York this week – his fourth solo show at Marianne Boesky – which presents both moving and static works. Olivier’s surreal, cinematic creations are typically produced by fusing paintings, photographs and animations. The abstract canvases are often achieved by pooling together translucent acrylic paints to dream-like effect.

Intended to induce moments of quiet contemplation, Olivier’s works are imbued with introspection while seeming to always strive for balance. Instead of relying on figuration or a narrative, he explains that his works are ‘free-flowing visual thoughts, like those in the moments just before sleep’.

This approach is particularly captivating in Adem, which means ‘breath’; a video piece that sees painted elements float delicately across the canvas, as if clouds in the sky. The fact that the animated elements are the more subtle areas of the painting, as where paint is not intentionally applied, makes the different textures all the more immersive. Projected onto a wall, these films are mysterious yet tranquil, further blending the lines between mediums, with the light adding an even more ephemeral quality.


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