Ken Oliver

“Their physicality is the first and most immediately apparent of their qualities, the paint rich and dense and closely worked, the surfaces subtle and allusive in the variety of their effects, as though weathered and marked by time, bearing a secret history like old stone or wood. ”

The pictorial space seems shallow at first, the composition frontal and emblematic in its abstract simplicity. There, it seems, are these objects, these painted surfaces, to be taken as they are.

“And then only does the imagery begin to rise up through the work, to register at other less formal levels of consideration, with all the more complex allusions of pictorial and imaginative and photographic space that inevitably it carries. The particular image sits on the surface yet proposes a space and world beyond that surface. And the symbolism of these skulls and masks, these flowers and leaves, and shells and seeds, and the ambiguous signs and marks and textures that come with them, though only a rubbing taken from the floor we stand on, carries us ever deeper into further realms of possibility and speculation. It is strong and beautiful stuff.”

William Packer