Jason Haam is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Oliver Arms which inaugurates the Gallery's very first venue on 73, Seongbuk-ro 31-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea. Recent works from 2011 to 2017 by the artist will be on display in the Gallery’s first and second floor exhibition spaces.
Iridescence defines Oliver Arms’ artwork. Amorphous in nature, his abstract works are a starburst of scintillating colors that pulsate with energy. Such finesse is achieved through the dousing and drying of multiple layers of paint, from which the canvas amasses into a thick consolidation. Only then is it ready for the industrial belt sander to break through the surface to the whirlpool of chroma below, to finally reap the fruits of weeks-long, if not months or years-long, labor.
Through such time-consuming but exponentially rewarding process, Arms creates on canvas both complexity and diversity in hue, depth, and texture. The variation and intensity add on to the vibrant beauty in his works, but his oeuvre digs deep past the surface. Similar to how the Victorian houses Arms renovated as a construction worker had been designed to accommodate its owners, used for shelter, and, as the artist describes, “…abandoned should new tastes or experiences prompt a revision,” Arms’ paintings deliver the same poignance of history. Beyond the grandeur, his paintings represent the passage of time, of how it leaves its trace on all entities, leaving behind only fragments of its former glory.
While Arms’ works share such similar characteristics, each painting differs in what emotions it evokes. The pink and red shades in Rest, the Beautiful Sisters (2013-2015) is alluring, seductive, and consequently heart wrenching, much like the poetry by Leonard Cohen, whom the artist holds in high esteem. Likewise, Saccharine Trust (2017), named after the 80’s punk rock band, is playful and wicked, much like the original Warner Brothers cartoons that at a glance seem innocent but is actually quite alarming. Crocodile (2011-2012), on the other hand, is unlike any other piece in the show. The monochromatic piece is rough and caustic, and due to its guarded, unwelcoming manner, the viewers have to willingly pierce through its thick hide to commit to it.
Born in 1970 in Arlington, VA, Oliver Arms currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. The artist attended the San Francisco Art Institute from 1988 to 1991 and showed a solo exhibition at Western Project, Los Angeles, CA in 2005. He has since been featured in multiple group and solo exhibitions at different venues, including the Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY; Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe, New York, NY; William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, AZ; Brevard Art Museum, Melbourne, FL; Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA; Look Gallery, Los Angeles, CA and more.