Oliver Jeffers will publicly unveil his latest work in the ongoing ‘Dipped Paintings’ series in a temporary exhibition at 31 Henrietta Street in London’s Covent Garden neighbourhood, which will be followed by an artist talk and book signing at the National Portrait Gallery.
Since 2012, Oliver Jeffers has developed his Dipped Paintings series around the central theme of loss. Each work in the series begins as a fully realised oil-on-canvas portrait, the subjects of which are all linked by the common experience of having witnessed death at close hand. Following an interview with his subject, Jeffers creates an original portrait that is kept completely hidden from view in the artist’s studio until its ceremonial unveiling and subsequent dip into a vat of enamel paint. The paintings are then hung to dry, with the extra drips of paint falling on to a written transcription of the subject’s interview.
Each dip ceremony takes the form of a private performance in front of an intimate gathering of witnesses. These witnesses are then interviewed (both immediately after the performance and in the following months) about their memories of the painting and the experience of watching its dipping. Footage from the performances, as well as interviews with both subjects and witnesses, is being collected for a documentary about the project, which is slated for completion in 2017.
Following his latest private dipping performance at an undisclosed location in London, Jeffers will display his newest dipped painting at a special one week solo exhibition at 31 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden from 18th-27th November 2015. The exhibition will be followed by an artist talk at the National Portrait gallery with Jefferson Hack, the founder of magazine Dazed and Confused, AnOther, and Another Man. These events also coincide with the November 20 opening of Measuring Land and Sea, Jeffers’ latest solo exhibition at Lazarides gallery.
The Dipped Paintings project will continue with further performances through 2016, with a final exhibition of the complete series planned for 2017.
From figurative painting and installation to typography, maps and picture books, Oliver Jeffers’ practice takes many forms. His distinctive paintings have been exhibited in multiple cities and institutions, including London (National Portrait Gallery and Lazarides), New York (The Brooklyn Museum) and Berlin (Gestalten Space).
Jeffers has achieved international prominence as an illustrator and author, with his picture books (published by Harper Collins UK and Penguin USA) now available in over 30 languages. The Day the Crayons Quit, illustrated by Jeffers, has been on the New York Times picture books bestseller list for over 120 week; its sequel, The Day The Crayons Came Home, has been the #1 New York Times best-selling picture book since its release in August 2015. Working in collaboration with Studio AKA, Oliver’s second book, Lost and Found was developed into an animated short film, which has received over sixty awards including a BAFTA for Best Animated Short Film.
Oliver won a New York Emmy in 2010 for his collaborative work with artist and filmmaker Mac Premo. He has made art for The New York Times, TED Talks, and has recently collaborated with U2 on several projects. Oliver grew up and was educated in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Oliver Jeffers: Dipped Painting 31 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London November 18-27