January 5 - February 2, 2008 Opening reception: Saturday, January 5, 5-8 pm
Western Project is pleased to present the second exhibition of paintings by Oliver Arms. Continuing his visual cacophony, the artist confirms his place as a master of contemporary painting. Each work in the exhibition is grand in scale, built up of multiple layers of oil paint, sanded and repainted dozens of times over months in his studio. Every gesture and every square inch is considered; as a surgeon works, exacting and emphatic. Arms’ art is not in the labor, but in the historic vision he creates. It is poetic, alarming, compressed and florid; it mirrors our culture of information and visual overload. He uses retinal contradictions: assault and fecundity, toxic and ravishing, momentary and endless, depicting immense densities and atmospheres. Each is a kind of micro/macro hallucination, a psychic, social, and spiritual tale, of epic landscapes of miasma. It is a vocabulary akin to Pollock and Lao Tsu; the finite and infinite, the internal and eternal exposed and unapologetic.
Arms has shown at the Charles Cowles Gallery in New York, Culture Cache Gallery in San Francisco, and The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, California.