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Margaret Pettee Olsen

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Rochester, New York


Columbia University, 1986, BFA
RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), 1995, MA

abstract, RISD, contemporary- painting abstract



Painting is relegating chaos to reification. Painting is a grappling with entropy and a representation of that encounter.

I create paintings with reflective and interference acrylics, building and destroying layers, crafting color-shifting surfaces that change depending on the purchase of the viewer.

Margaret Pettee Olsen


Margaret Pettee grew up in Rochester, New York. She identified early as an artist and was interested in both visual and performing arts. Her nascent concerns with ideas beyond the politics of the body trained her focus on painting. She went on to attend the Rhode Island school of Design. Pettee moved to Manhattan in 1988 and began working with a range of established artists and their work in SoHo. While these experiences indirectly influenced her work, Pettee began to show in alternative spaces in the city, developing her own sense of the possibilities of painting.

As her work developed, Pettee assisted in establishing a print shop in TriBeCa and was instrumental in curating the entire stable of prominent artists. Soon after, she began teaching master’s degree candidates at Columbia University, Teachers College on an ad hoc basis while pursuing her own degree. While directing at Oberon Press, Pettee met and married then lithographer Wiliam Olsen, with whom she journeyed to Japan and the American southwest, travels which came to influence her work.

Margaret Pettee Olsen is an active artist presently working on projects in Colorado between Denver and Boulder. She visits New York on a yearly basis.

For further information about the works of Margaret Pettee Olsen, please contact the artist at or via her website

Alternatively, she can presently be reached at her studio @ 303.465.6480

Thank you very much for your interest


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