I have always been enthralled by how a gesture can be recorded using simple tools and materials to reveal complex expression of spirit and time; charcoal and graphite, a sharp point or a dollop of paint freezes an action to be savoured with thoughtful contemplation.
My current paintings take inspiration from the street. I’m fascinated by time’s harsh effects on the city’s surfaces, such as construction hoardings, that become layered and weathered while being subjected to human marks and seemingly random actions in a constant state of flux; symbolic of life. In stark contrast I observe the sophistication of silken evening gowns shimmering in fashion designer’s window displays. For me a story unfolds.
All Images Are © Stan Olthuis
Stan Olthuis Artist Bio
Born in north central Alberta, Canada Stan was raised in the tight-knit rural Dutch-Calvinist community of Neerlandia. He knew his calling from the beginning and declared it when he was 9 years old by carving it in the wet cement of a new barn floor; ‘occupation – artist’. At age 17 he escaped to Chicago to study art, literature, philosophy and history. A prevailing commitment to process is the result of the influences of masters like Henrik Krijger, Tom Hodgson, Willem de Kooning and Robert Rauschenberg. He graduated from the OCAD experimental art department in Toronto with special mention and currently lives and works in Toronto.
“Abbozzo Gallery is pleased to represent award winning artist Stan Olthuis. In December 2014, the gallery held a successful solo exhibition of Stan’s latest work titled ‘Rags to Riches’. Stan’s paintings are a complex dichotomy – both in process and imagery. Light, feathery, feminine dresses float on rough grounds; the body of the dress resembling a triangular structure calling to mind the myriad associations of the triangle as form and spiritual energy. Stan’s work has a wide appeal and we look forward to our continuing association with him.” Ineke Zigrossi – Director
Stan is an internationally recognized and award-winning, mixed-media artist focusing on energy, gesture and time. All his work is deeply grounded in drawing and the figure; a love affair formed at an early age. He is unbiased with respect to artistic medium, materials or subject matter and shifts easily to utilize any discipline that best manifests a concept. Inspired by the abstract expressionists, process becomes master as a piece develops. Works span printmaking to earth installations. He is collected privately and corporately in Canada, France, Japan, Norway the USA and Mexico.
“As paintings, Stan Olthuis’ works are situational; whereby the artist makes choices about composition, texture, form, at a moment in time. And so they relate to the body, to space, to the limits of time, to experience, and above all – process. Life, process and art become a journey and the artist is a witness, provocateur, a medium, above all. The traces of time’s passage are ephemeral, and draw their inspiration from the moment. Originating out of Olthuis’ love of drawing, these multi-media works become sculptural, very much 3-D, an interweaving web of line, texture, that exists on the surface of things, that evidences the surface nature of perception, of our relation to the world around us – very much actions that encourage a dialogue on perception. Life is reified through the actions, the process of Stan Olthuis’ art. The art comes full circle, defines the moment, art emerges in time, art into time. Art is a journey – the artist a passenger and participant, who builds the boat you travel on. That boat is art, the boat is life… experience builds the trajectory, engages us in so many ways”.
John K. Grande
Blog / Website: Stan Olthuis Studio