David Rhodes reviews Bobbie Oliver: Paintings at Valentine Gallery, New York, on view through October 18, 2015.
Rhodes writes: "Forever, for Hudson (#1) is a good place to begin contemplating Oliver’s work. It is characteristic of her oeuvre, technically and chromatically. Paint is applied, often wet into wet, and then manipulated using a variety of different methods, some discernable, some not. For example the darker green shape to the left of center appears to mirror its upper and lower halves vertically, though not exactly, as a result of folding of the canvas. Unusually, in this instance, it is a cut piece from a larger work mounted on a smaller canvas, exactly to size. Oliver always preps her canvases with a couple of coats of gesso as this enables a specific surface quality that she desires, and that makes the paintings distinct from color field stain painting that tended to exploit raw canvas. What she achieves is something akin to the immediacy of gouache or watercolor. Avoiding the potential grandiosity of gesture, Oliver imbues the painting with a practical sense of responsiveness, both to the materiality of paint and the fluctuating light of color."