Artist: Oliver Osborne
Venue: Vilma Gold, London
Exhibition Title: Anna
Date: September 6 – October 5, 2013
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Vilma Gold, London
Vilma Gold are delighted to present a solo show by London-based artist Oliver Osborne,- his first at the gallery. Titled ‘Anna’, Osborne will show a number of new large works alongside a series of smaller scale paintings on linen.
Osborne works with deadpan juxtapositions. His large panel pieces take the form either of diptychs or of multiple stretchers amassed together on the wall into rectangles. Rather incongruously, a single cartoon image sourced from European language textbooks such as those for learning Spanish or French is pasted over their meticulously painted abstract grounds. The smaller works on the other hand mark a development in his series of paintings depicting the same rubber plant. Again, the tenderness evident in the carefully painted plant is contrasted with the deftness of a cartoon image pasted simply and quickly over its surface.
Sometimes puzzled, at other times struggling or surprised, the cartoon figures might become a metaphor for the act of looking. Perhaps they propose a subject position, and one at the whim of different moods and pressures. Whether abstract or figurative, Osborne’s backgrounds however propose something more consistent. The rubber plant lives on, calm and constant despite the various changes in light, time of day or mood that may be taking place around it.
Osborne is interested in clarity and straightforwardness. This holds not only for the pared down lines in the cartoons used, but whether presenting individual forms or in terms of the very modes of painting being employed, there is a will at work to lay something out as clearly as possible. What exactly is being posed is clued into in the title. Anna is a palindrome. Like Osborne’s juxtapositions it sets off a neat bounce between poles, – a play that is even extended to link in his upcoming show in Rome, which becoming partner, will be called ‘Otto’. Which is the driver: foreground or background, the slow or the flip? How do these qualities and assumptions effect how something is deciphered? Incongruous combinations demand fresh attention and Osborne’s paintings openly offer up the mechanisms comprising the orthodoxy of legibility.