Oliver Beer: Saatchi Online’s Critics Choice by Daria de Beauvais

Oliver Beer is a young British artist (born in 1985, currently lives in Kent), winner of the Saatchi Gallery’s ‘New Sensations’ prize 2009 who, after studying music, decided to dedicate himself to the visual arts. Nonetheless, music, and sound in general, is a key part of his work, as one can see in the ongoing series The Resonance Project (2007-2010). As the artist says himself, this series “uses the relationship between sound, music and architecture as a structure on which to build films, photographs and performances.” It includes choirs in various spaces – such as an abbey in Rome, a corridor of the Pompidou Centre in Paris or the Brighton sewers – which answer back and create a strange yet stunning sound, full of echoes.

The work of this artist in general is filled with poetry in its simplicity. For his piece Bodhran (2009), Oliver Beer conceals a loudspeaker beneath an Irish Bodhran (traditionnal drum), near a synthesizer playing, which sets a handful of flour in motion. The vibration of the flour creates abstract patterns seemingly coming from an outer force. The resonance of the speaker creates an atmosphere of spirituality and wonder, which places the viewer in a trance-like state. Visually, it appears to be between a miniaturized erupting volcano and a nuclear explosion: an intrinsic violence that is closely linked to pure beauty.

The artist also happens to take his inspiration from his own private life. Oma’s Kitchen Floor (2008), is dedicated to his grandmother. Using the forty years old lino floor of her kitchen, Oliver Beer transformed it into a wall piece, a gigantic picture, showing where the old woman used to walk and stop in her kitchen, “like a drawing made over forty years, these worn patches describe half a lifetime of movement.” These examples of his recent production shows that with quite simple means, Oliver Beer succeeds in creating pure emotion.

Oma’s Kitchen Floor, 2008

Linoleum, 511cm x 350 cm

Installation view, Modern Art Oxford

View more work by Oliver Beer

About the author

Daria de Beauvais
After several experiences in Italy (Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice Biennale) and in the USA (Museum of Modern Art, ICI), Daria de Beauvais now works as a curator at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris as well as an independent curator.

6 Comments

  1. Dan Clarkson says:

    ‘Oma’s Kitchen Floor’ looks suspiciously like an early Richard Woods piece. I fell like I have already encountered the other pieces described in the past too.

    I suppose there is nothing new making other people’s work.

    Reply
  2. Ever watch the Film “The Field” with Richard Harris?
    Linoleum Floor… Indeed !
    This is taking the Mick of art.
    There’s one place worth a look Art en Capital. Les artistes Français. They’re artists. This is phony intellectual rubbish.
    Studying art. It’s a gift that needs years of work. You have it or you don’t. Only difference is that with music people throw tomatoes with art it’s hush hush.
    What do the general public think?
    Oh yes studied art… well, so did I. You learn zero in art schools. Try a year doing portraits or paintings on the Place du Tertre. That’s about being good enough to sell to eat. Even if today it’s not what it was decades ago. From that place emerged Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet Utrillo (not super technically), etc.
    Can the guy draw paint sculpt? artist? or just a curated love affair a phoney

    Reply
  3. Denis says:

    the only good thing about this art and article is the artists last name…

    I suggest we all drink more of it…
    and then throw up on this linoleum after a good curry.

    Reply
  4. Phillip says:

    I stumbled across his Resonance show in London in the summer – beautiful and emotive work; and I love the kitchen floor (though I’m not sure I see the link between the pieces).

    Reply
  5. I love your comment Denis !!! so funny.

    I’ve calmed down a bit. So i’ll just say that an artist very well considered in Sao Paulo called Daniel Senise does textile prints of concrete and wooden old industrial floors, then, he cuts them up and does complicated collages on aluminium panels up to 5 m in lenght the result is GOOD. It’s more ‘worked’ this Linoleum deserves the curry “patina” finish. Great comment Denis

    Reply
  6. Caio Fern says:

    I really like this .

    Reply

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