Olivia Stanton


11–25 March 2020

2018, Oil on canvas
96.5 x 81 cm
2019, Oil on canvas
55 x 52 cm

Olivia Stanton (b.1949) trained at Byam School of Art (now part of Central Saint Martins), London from 1973-77 under the tutelage of Wynn Jones and Bill Jacklin. Olivia’s work uses rich colour to fuse moments of bold geometry with hints of natural form, the work is sophisticated and visually stunning. The authority of the work transmits from an astonishingly matt paint surface, the matt surface exudes a calm that draws the viewer in to take a closer look.

Olivia’s work is a colour-rich expression of the everyday and what she sees about her – ‘life’, heavily influenced by landscape during her years living in France and more recently about structure and balance. Conscious that she does not want to tell us what to see, she prefers to share what she sees and let the work speak for itself. Influences include Ivon Hitchens, R B Kitaj, Gillian Ayres and further back to Gaugin, all for their bold use of colour. She also cites the influence of Japanese wood blocks – ‘I like the way they organise black’. 

Olivia talks about the language of painting, dabs, scrubs, delicate lines all play their part. When she starts a painting the colour palette is generally determined, the rest evolves; marks, space, gradients of tone.  While structure is of great importance, it is not predetermined. Olivia starts with a line or a curve and from there the painting develops piece by piece. The space between shapes and the tilt of a line is the difference between a painting that is dynamic or passive. These intense paintings are packed with precision and decision taking months to form, and months to unravel, they never tire.   They are enticing labyrinths of colour and form that draw you in, they are a gratifying place to immerse and admire the brilliance of picture-making. 

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