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David Olivant - There Will Be Time - 3D virtual exhibition by Stan State University Art Galleries

David Olivant - There Will Be Time

Wed, 02/03/2021 to Fri, 02/26/2021

curated by:

This exhibit provides a survey of some of the work which David produced during the time he was a professor at CSU Stanislaus-1995-2020. The work has undergone a number of radical shifts in medium and genre from detailed gestural abstraction in the mid 90’s to complex figurative narrative ceramics at the turn of the millennium. Moving into the new century his work continued the concerns of the ceramic sculptures while taking the form of large narrative pastel drawings. In the last six years or so of his tenure David sought to fuse the sculptural and the two-dimensional in about eighty assemblages which often utilized fragments of his earlier sculptures. All of the work was made with little sense of its final form and a reliance on contact with imagery arriving from unknown sources through a constant worrying and refashioning of the materials he worked with. This methodology formed the basis of some of his innovative approaches to teaching studio art, which sought to undermine the illusion of certitude and steady progress which tends to be a tacit assumption of art department curricula in the US.
During his tenure at Stanislaus Olivant held solo exhibitions in India and Germany, as well as Fresno, Merced, Davis, Turlock, San Bernardino and Santa Clara, all in California. He now lives and makes art in Santa Fe NM.

Artist Statement
Although my work in this exhibit spans twenty years and a multitude of styles, materials, attitudes and genres, all of it is animated by the attempt to make contact with that which is likely uncontactable. My only recourse and one which I had recognized at the very outset of my career was to cease relying on any formulae or certitudes, as in doing so I would only rediscover what I already knew, which wasn’t much anyway. Gradually I realized that the “characters” in my paintings, drawings and sculptures, although they started life as extensions of myself should rightly be considered as autonomous personalities and hence something worth the effort of contacting even if it meant the renunciation of my own wishes for them. Around 2008 I realized,albeit gradually, that by fusing sculpture and painting - something that I believe was best accomplished by the medieval and renaissance sculptors of Northern Europe, artists like Veit Stoss and Tilman Riemenschneider – I could fuse two heterogeneous worlds in a manner that would suggest or embody, even, the type of “impossible” contact I was seeking. More recently (since 2018) that fusion of the real and the illusory, the solid and the flat has become again compressed and shifted in ways that I hope will erode the viewer’s certainties, both about the material nature of what they see in my work and about their own ontological integrity.

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