Wallspace is pleased to announce our first exhibition with Scott Olson, opening Friday, March 29th and running through the 4th of May.
Olson’s painting practice is rooted in a deep fascination with painting’s materials, tools, and history, but also in performance, music and improvisation. Painting on a restricted scale, Olson pours, rubs, squeegees and sands his paints onto a marble-dust-on-wood substrate, which in turn records these actions as they perform and unfold on its surface.
While the scale and interlocking geometry of his paintings invite comparisons to early modernism, its Olson’s interest in painting’s organic, alchemical and chance properties that ultimately dictates their form. Through a process of masking, scumbling and layering translucent and opaque washes, Olson meticulously builds up and sands down his surfaces to reveal a field of abstract forms that project illusions of flatness and depth. His paintings work against final, realized forms and instead suggest a state of openness and evolution, where materials and forms seem to unfold, perform and dissolve before the viewer’s eyes. This fluidity and movement within the compositions speak to Olson’s interest in aleatory music and also performance, where chance is treated as another tool or device that activates the work and foregrounds a sense of indeterminacy.
In addition to his involvement in the production of his grounds and pigments, Olson builds his own frames from locally sourced, regional trees, including poplar, maple and cherry, milled at a 100-year-old sawmill on the Cuyahoga River. Like so many American artists who’ve found inspiration working on the periphery (Charles Burchfield, Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Sheeler), Olson has found in Ohio’s post- industrial landscape a place to reflect on, puzzle through and expose painting’s inherent problems and limitations.
Scott Olson (b. 1976) lives and works in Kent, Ohio. Recent exhibitions include Painter, Painter, at the Walker Art Center, and solo shows at Overduin & Kite, Los Angeles (2012) and Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (2011). His last solo show in New York was with Taxter & Spengemann in 2010. Upcoming exhibitions include Curator’s Choice – selected by Anne Ellegood, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London; Thea Djordjadze, Judith Hopf, Scott Olson, at Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin and Realization is Better than Anticipation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland.