Art Fag City at The Reeler: The Painted Whale

by Art Fag City on February 8, 2007 Events

Jacco Olivier, Whale, 2006, Animation on DVD
Triple screen, dimension variable, duration: 7 minutes
Installation view
Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York

This week at the Reeler I discuss Jacco Olivier’s animated films at Marianne Boesky Gallery. I imagine the piece will, in particular, appeal to those interested in the field of painting, and those who think Boadwee’s ass to be a particularly low moment for artmaking.

At some point you have to ask what more an artist can do with the surface of a canvas. Over the last century, art makers invented fractured perspective as a means of depicting objects, gestural mark-making to represent emotion, created monochromatic, photorealist and commercially inspired works — the list goes on. It’s not too surprising that by the ’70s, the number of ways you could approach the medium seemed exhausted and that people were declaring the medium dead. Little did they know that we’d have to wait 20 more years for Keith Boadwee to shit enema bags of paint onto a canvas before we could hammer the final nail in that coffin.

I’m half joking of course — we’ve obviously seen good painting since Boadwee — but I bring the subject up because the field feels narrow, and only a few artists like Jacco Olivier, whose current painted films can be seen at Marianne Boesky Gallery, among them, have been able to find a working method that pushes the medium forward. Of course, fine art animation strikes no one as new, but Olivier's fusion of painting and video, while coming out of a tradition best exemplified by William Kentridge's charcoal drawing stop-motion films, separates itself from its predecessors by abandoning stop-animation for fluid cinematic techniques and being much more concerned with formalism than narrative.

To read the full piece click here.

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