Jim Holyoak’s Oblivion Monstrosus Opens 12/13

                              Jim Holyoak

                    Oblivion Monstrosus

 by Craig Stephens


Renowned for his multi-dimensional drawings and installations, Canadian based artist Jim Holyoak melds traditional Chinese ink painting techniques with abstract installations.


As clever as it is puzzling, Holyoak’s latest show, titled Oblivion Monstous, will see him emblazon the window of Bleicher/Golightly gallery with a painting of a giant severed tuna and a labyrinth of installations for his December 15 show.



According to gallerist Om Bleicher, “Jim will take advantage of the gallery’s movable walls to create a labyrinthine installation of monsters, dinosaurs and endangered animals bluring in and out of surreal metamorphic landscapes..” This will be Holyoak’s first solo exhibit in the US in over 3 years, he returns after a busy year of museum exhibits in Canada and a series of residencies across Europe. Jim is becoming known for his larger-than-life, awe-inspiring, interactive ink installations.



Holyoak’s work portrays the bridges and boundaries between perception, memory and fantasy. Blending traditional Chinese ink study with contemporary western approaches, monsters dinosaurs and endangered animals blur in and out of surreal metamorphic landscapes.



Bleicher adds, “The exhibit will also be the book launch for Keith Holyoak’s tome, Foreigner, illustrated by Jim Holyoak. Keith will read a short excerpt from the book at 8pm at the reception and will be signing first-edition copies throughout the evening. An exhibit of Jim Holyoak’s works from the book will be on display.



Keith will read an excerpt from the book at 8pm and will be signing first-edition copies throughout the evening. An exhibit of Jim Holyoak’s works from the book will be on display.



Foreigner stems from Keith’s previously acclaimed publication of translations of the ancient Chinese poets Du Fu and Li Bai. In this volume Holyoak creates contemporary poetry in ancient Chinese style. The marriage of eastern and western styles is echoed in Jim Holyoak’s illustrations for the volume using traditional Chinese ink painting techniques.



Commenting on his art, Holyoak explains , “My work explores the bridges and boundaries between perception, memory and fantasy, through drawing, writing and installation. What we remember, imagine, and think about has powerful effects on how we feel, how we perceive the world, and on our behavior. This is what prevents me from dismissing the imaginary as unreal.”


“During the last dozen years I have amassed an enormous collection of paper – ranging in scale from postcards to murals – drawn, written, wrinkled and saturated with ink. Some are individual pieces unto themselves, some are pages for hand-bound books and zines, and some are garbage and debris. This material is reused within dense installation-environments, tailored to the architecture of the rooms they occupy.”


On the fact that most of his work is grey scale, Holyoak reveals, “ I’ve found that within the limits of ink, graphite, paper, light, and my own body, an inexhaustible variety of thinking and expression is possible.”


He adds, “Though the content of my artwork ranges from the biological to the magical, there is a focus on the relationship between culture and nature, human and non-human animals, deep time and the present.”


“The animals I contemplate most are the species that never existed, don’t exist anymore, and that are threatened with extinction. I love dinosaurs because they are completely real and completely imaginary. This tension between what is real and imaginary, what once existed and does no longer, is my art’s uniting principle.”


                Bleicher/Golightly Gallery

1431 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Reception Saturday December 15 7:30PM-10:00PM

(continues thru January 2013)


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