Daniel Hollier was born in Canberra, 1979. In 2009 he completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) at the National Art School, Sydney. In 2011, Hollier was awarded a New Work grant by the Australia Council for the Arts. Hollier was the recipient of the Queen Street Studio Residency Award at Fraser Studio Projects, 2009 and the Clitheroe Foundation Scholarship in 2008. Since graduating, Hollier has exhibited in artist-run-initiatives, Including Sydney Non-Objective (SNO) and MOP Projects (Sydney), where he curated the group exhibition Lesser Abstraction (2010). Hollier was the recipient of the Storrier Onslow Cite de Paris Residency (2010), which he undertook in early 2011, and was also a finalist in the Helen Lempriere Travelling Scholarship both in 2011 and 2010 at Artspace, Sydney. In 2012, he participated in a group show, You Give Good Colour, at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne, and also exhibited his work in ALASKA Project curated show As Above-So Below, at Good Children Gallery, New Orleans, USA. His work is represented in the collection of Artbank as well as private collections in Australia, United Kingdom and Holland. Hollier works and lives in Sydney where he is currently undertaking his Masters in Fine Arts as the recipient of an Australian Post-Graduate Award Scholarship.
Daniel Hollier's practice is informed by chance discoveries and the experience of his everyday surroundings. Hollier refers to his paintings as "narrative abstractions" as their creation tells a story of the artist's engagement with chance encounters, found objects and the everyday - work, home and he repetition of these cycles in daily life. As a painter of precise measure and procedure, Hollier's object-like paintings engage with the traditions of the ready-made, hard-edge abstraction and minimalism. The works are an investigation of painting, surface, support, colour and the experience of making. The painting's form often takes its shape from found objects. Hollier states:
"Walking to work and something captures my eye. Its small and insignificant but it grasps my attention. I arrive at the studio and it comes to mind. I draw it onto a piece of paper. I start to test the possibilities. I start to imagine it at a greater scale. I draw, plan and start to calculate: size, angles, colour, texture. Painting begins with rule, saw and sander. I work its edges, its surface. Stretching. Sizing. Stapling. Its a search with no end until it ends."
By shaping the canvas into irregular geometric forms, Hollier liberates painting from the conventional frame, questioning the notion of painting as object. The technique of undercutting or bevelling the edge of the cedar support/stretched creates the illusion of the painting floating or hovering off the wall. Slowly built up over time using thin layers of paint to create smooth, velvety surfaces, the paintings are made using a combination of acrylic, gouache and spray enamel on linen and polyester with cedar timber frames, heightening the relationship between "high" and "low" materials. Close investigation of the surface reveals the decision and indecision that comes with the territory of painting and the artist's mantra "don't do what i want to do…" Hollier states: "Some of the artworks have been finely finished with only a hint of a blemish, whilst others have a more obvious constructed aesthetic, one that both reveals something of the process, and also alludes to an aesthetic that is ground in an urban landscape of building sites and gallery walls."
Hollier embraces the quote "I am interested in Black and White and sometimes Grey. I am for both and or either…" (Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Gentle Manifesto, 1966). His interest in contradictions is a way of acknowledging the fact that no one way is the correct way - colours that seemingly clash are often pitched against each other and resolve to find harmony. However, harmony is not the goal in his artwork, but a by-product of a method that involves a 'Sisyphean' diligence of taping and re-painting.
"By shaping the canvas, Hollier removes painting from its conventional frame, establishing a slippage between the two and three dimensional, a dialogue between fictive and actual space." (Courtney Kidd, "50 things Collectors Need to Know 2011", Art Collector, Issue 55, January - March 2011, p166)
"Daniel's process begins with a serendipitous happening upon discarded objects or parts of objects, remnants of lives - little bits and pieces, a paper cup, some foil, a scrap of paper, plastic. Through these objects his paintings connect with a mysterious chain of unknown events."(Nick Collerson, Helen Lempriere Traveling Art Scholarship Catalogue, Artspace, Sydney, 2011, p14)
Bird House # 1 (A Home for the Paradise Parrot), 2015, Pacific Silkwood