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James Olley: Rock - Paper - scissors

Exhibition Dates: July 7- 24, 2016 Opening Reception: Thursday, July 7th, 6-9pm

Rock-Paper-Scissors is a hand game many of us played as children with three outcomes, guided by decisions within a set of parameters. Like the game, Olley establishes a series of parameters which are guided by a process consisting of action and reaction. Through this process, the autonomous, self-generating subject matter is revealed. The use of materials like charcoal, paper, and scissors informs the series of collages and paintings.

Olley's work has had an ongoing interest with the fluidity and potential for motion in the paint, exploring systems for representation and modes of expression informing visual languages. His research has been informed by the continuation of the modernist critique, leading to questions of authenticity, autonomy and the role of painting in contemporary art.

The expressive and exploratory nature of collage historically offers an experimental space to incorporate multiple visual languages. Surrealist writings by André Breton and Robert Motherwell’s writings on the search for a philosophical spirit, psychic automatism and the task of finding a “creative principle” have informed the scope of Olleys works.

James Olley received his MFA from the University of Waterloo in 2008 after completing his BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2004. Since graduating Olley has had a number of solo shows locally and internationally; Angell Gallery (Toronto), Galerie Trois Points (Montreal), Peter Robertson Gallery (Edmonton), Kasia Kay Art Projects (Chicago), Incident Report (New York) and Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), Galerie Weissraum, (Kyoto, Japan); and Groenhazengracht 1, (Leiden, Netherlands). Olley’s work belongs to private collections such as Colart Collection (Montreal) and Cenovus Energy (Edmonton). Olley has been awarded Emerging & Assistance Artist Grants (Toronto Arts Council & Ontario Arts Council), in addition, received a full scholarship to the Vermont Studio Center Residency (2009). Olley’s work has been profiled at contemporary art fairs, including Pulse New York, Pulse Miami, Papier 13 and Next Chicago.