James Olley’s paintings have had an ongoing interest with the fluidity and potential for motion in paint, exploring systems of representation and modes of expression. His research has been informed by paintings richly coded history, philosophy and the continuation of the modernist critique, leading to questions of authenticity, autonomy and the role of painting in contemporary art. Painting is loaded with history and language, and connecting within this dialog is the task of the artist, shaping and informing the fabric for our personal and cultural identity.
Olley received his MFA from the University of Waterloo after completing his BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since graduating Olley has had a number of solo exhibitions locally and internationally; Angell Gallery (Toronto), Galerie Trois Points (Montreal), Peter Robertson Gallery (Edmonton), Kasia Kay Art Projects (Chicago), Incident Report (New York) and Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), Galerie Weissraum, (Kyoto, Japan); and Groenhazengracht 1, (Leiden, Netherlands). Olley’s work belongs to private collections such as Colart Collection (Montreal) and Cenovus Energy (Edmonton). Olley has been awarded Emerging & Assistance Artist Grants (Toronto Arts Council & Ontario Arts Council), in addition, received full scholarship to the Vermont Studio Center Residency. Olley’s work has been profiled at contemporary art fairs, including Pulse New York, Pulse Miami, Papier 13 and Next Chicago. Get Noticed, Curated by Jamie Angell and Niki Dracos, Red Head Gallery, (Toronto), Remix, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, (Oshawa), Day Trip, Gallery 555, (Toronto), Draw to Perform, Drawing Symposium, Coordinator and Co-Curator with Ram Samocha, (OCAD U, Toronto).