Measuring Land and Sea by Oliver Jeffers

Measuring Land and Sea continues AOI Patron Oliver Jeffers’ investigation into the philosophical impasse at which art and science often find themselves. While one is by nature subjective and the other is defined by the pursuit of objectivity, both express two very human characteristics: feeling and reasoning.

Lazarides Rathbone Gallery, 11 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1HR

Friday 20th November – Wednesday 23rd December 2015

Opening times Wednesday to Saturday 11am until 7am

0207 636 5443 Oliver Jeffers Website


Oliver Jeffers combines classic landscape and seascape painting with technical measurements. In Jeffers seascape paintings he has superimposed numbers that mark the depth of the ocean in fathoms, a now obsolete system for measuring depth. As his various depictions of ocean swell suggest, the surface of the sea is not flat but in constant motion, forever changing. Moreover, what lies beneath the surface is a notoriously uncharted frontier; these paintings speak to the futility of trying to measure—with potentially inadequate means—the immeasurable vastness of our universe.

Measuring Land and Sea

Through this juxtaposition, the artist presents the viewer with two modes of representation, one artistic and one scientific. Rather than increase our understanding, this combination makes things less clear by providing superfluous distraction whilst highlighting the boundaries of perceived knowledge. Thus, Jeffers points to two underlying obstacles of human cognition, the tendency to overthink and the inability to fully comprehend.

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To coincide with his show, Jeffers will conduct a discussion on his Dipped Paintings project at London’s National Portrait Gallery. More information is available here

19th November 2015

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