Adriana Oliver’s Modern Love Story

JoAnne Artman Gallery
Oct 4, 2019 4:21PM

With a sharp eye for form and space, Adriana Oliver transforms the familiar into neutral shapes that are open to viewer interpretation. Oliver’s imagery stands out as the works contain references and symbolism that feel both personal and important, while showcasing a beguiling use of color relationships. Working in a reductive palette, as well as in simplified line-work, her imagery stands out with her minimalist approach to figuration.

Each image is reduced to only the most essential elements - the hair is just one shape with a few strategically placed highlights - yet the effect is striking, conveying much more information to the viewer. Oliver assembles her own lexicon of art historical themes, utilizing key concepts from various periods and genres to create her own unique set of visual vocabulary.

“I wanted to focus more about the emotions and feelings of what a portrait can transmit to the audience, instead of reducing everything to an identity. Executing it with simple lines, shapes and geometries,” says Oliver.


Employing a minimalist figurative aesthetic, Oliver’s signature “cutout” style often explores classical representations of femininity and masculinity, as seen through iconography of suits and ties or heels and dresses. Her early study of photography is evident in her framing of the picture plane, and liberal use of flat shapes and negative space. In her use of hue, intensity and value, the works attain depth and resonance, striking a perfect balance between message and form.

Drawing on romanticism and cinematographic narratives reminiscent of the 50’s and 60’s, Oliver’s new series chronicles a couple’s courtship. Intended as an ongoing narrative, each painted panel addresses the story of the figures while distinctively defining the space around them.

“This series is a representation of a love story,” Oliver explains. “I decided to introduce the characters in the most unusual and intimate situation- through interiors. I represented the man by himself and you can interpret he is waiting, missing, or thinking about someone. The second panel is the interior of an empty house. There are no characters, but there is a powerful picture of the wedding day, showing the emotions and excitement of the day.”

Replete with drama and intensity, Oliver’s unusual portraits tell the intimacies of her figures’ relationship while remaining intentionally coy. Merging form and content, her linear constructions exemplify the expressive potential of line while leaving the viewer to decipher each scene.

Adriana Oliver’s new series will be featured in JoAnne Artman Gallery, New York’s upcoming show, Lineage.

Reception: Thursday, November 14th, 2019 from 6pm-8pm

Please RSVP: 949.510.5481 by November 8th, 2019

JoAnne Artman Gallery 511A West 22nd Street | New York, NY 10011

Contact: JoAnne Artman Telephone: 949-510-5481 | E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.joanneartmangallery.com

JoAnne Artman Gallery