Oliver Osborne Collection
Oliver Osborne is an artist whose practice explores the visual horizons of contemporary art. His practice blends a broad visual language with an intense focus on figuration and appropriation, including silk screens of appropriated cartoons from language textbooks as well as large monochromatic canvases that break down traditional barriers between abstraction and representation.
Early Life and Education
The Oliver Osborne Collection encompasses lecture notes, writings, student papers, memorabilia and photographs that are in the public domain; some materials may be subject to copyright restrictions or be regulated.
As soon as he graduated school, Osborne found employment with a provincial touring company of junior actors as a tutor and soon found himself drawn to theater; eventually taking on stage management duties for local provincial companies.
Osborne made his mark as a playwright with the iconic production of Look Back in Anger at Royal Court Theatre. Laurence Olivier initially rejected it, labelling it unpatriotic and bad theater; but Arthur Miller convinced him otherwise and convinced Laurence Olivier to see it. Although its Broadway run proved unsuccessful, Look Back in Anger marked a new movement influenced by Bertolt Brecht and class awareness.
The Brothers Osborne are a beloved country music duo that have achieved immense success both individually and as a unit. Over their career, however, they have encountered various controversies and questions raised regarding whether one or both brothers may be homosexual.
Oliver Osborne’s work captures and amplifies the disquieting tension that pervades contemporary art experiences. His techniques employing abstracted, yet mechanically refined approaches evoke both nostalgia and confusion about art today, drawing parallels with ancient treasures found within metaphysical blurs such as Tanya Leighton in Berlin or The Bunker in Santa Monica – among many more collections worldwide – UNION PACIFIC in London, The Bunker in Santa Monica, Tanya Leighton Berlin or Liverpool Biennial in Liverpool this year alone! His works feature prominently within public collections worldwide including UNION PACIFIC in London while simultaneously engaging old-school painting through techniques so mechanically refined that there’s little discernible technique; his artworks appear within public collections such as Union Pacific in London while participating in shows like Bloomberg New Contemporaries at ICA London or Liverpool Biennial this year among others.
Achievement and Honors
Oliver was an active member of Pi Kappa Phi during his time at CofC and has continued his involvement ever since he graduated in 2006. Oliver served as one of the key leaders during Andrew Hsu’s transition into office as President.
He led the News’ rise during one of America’s fiercest newspaper battles, ultimately overthrowing longtime rival the Times Herald and becoming preferred paper of advertisers such as Neiman Marcus.
After being elected as MP for Tatton, he led David Cameron’s leadership campaign and became Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. This role continued under his subsequent Cameron government. Furthermore, he served as editor of the Evening Standard from 2017-20.
Oliver Osborne employs an expansive visual vocabulary in his paintings: silk-screened cartoons, large monochromatic canvases and embroidery all feature prominently. His pieces bridge abstraction and figuration, exploring their conflicts.
Osborne’s works frequently combine imagery of flowers and humanoid heads reminiscent of 19th-century symbolism; Osborne also paints intricate rubber plant paintings which explore similar simplicity of form.
Osborne seems to offer a humorous riposte to Minimal and Conceptual artists who sought an elemental purity of white monochrome in their works, questioning whether high art and low art still hold relevance today. He has had solo exhibitions such as The Neck at Gio Marconi Gallery as well as participation in Bloomberg New Contemporaries show 2012. Osborne currently lives and works in London.
Osborne worked as a freelance journalist after graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford and was selected for the Times trainee scheme; however he did not take up that offer and eventually joined the Conservative Research Department, eventually serving as head of their political section and serving as speechwriter to Douglas Hogg while also acting at 10 Downing Street for Prime Minister’s Questions between 1997 and 2001.
Osborne’s paintings, like Portrait of a Fat Man (after Robert Campin), 2021, play with anachronism and genre to emphasize painting’s adaptable language. Osborne’s deadpan compositions provide a playful riposte to Minimalist and Conceptual artists’ attempts at purifying form from all extraneous materiality.