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Alex Olson

Bio

Alex Olson (b. 1978 Boston) makes abstract paintings that provoke an extended sense of time and elicit prolonged consideration. Working on canvases of modest size, she deftly moves among an array of bold visual cues to create surfaces that speak to their own making and repossess abstract material experimentation as sign. Applying oil paint layer by layer, Olson evaluates her surface and chooses her gestures based on what the preceding surface offers, wending between a desire to obscure or highlight with each subsequent application. Sgraffito—scraping, patching, and dragging—finds its way into many of the paintings, resulting in dramatic surfaces. Olson displaces expectations to protract the viewer’s gaze, turning the practice of looking into a sort of dérive of denouement as one wanders among color relations and textures that point to process-oriented interactivity more than narrative signification.

Gallery

Alex Olson

Works by Alex Olson. Installation view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, June 2-September 2, 2012. Photo by Brian Forrest.

Alex Olson

Alex Olson. Thread, 2010. Oil and grease pencil on linen. 41 x 29 in. (104.1 x 73.7 cm). Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Alex Olson

Alex Olson. Prose, 2010. Oil on linen. 51 x 36 in. (129.5 x 91.4 cm). Courtesy the artist; Lisa Cooley Fine Art, New York; and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago.

Alex Olson

Alex Olson. Archivist, 2011. Oil on linen. 51 x 36 in. (129.5 x 91.4 cm). Courtesy the artist; Lisa Cooley Fine Art, New York; and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago.

Alex Olson

Alex Olson. Architect, 2011. Oil on canvas. 41 x 29 in. (104.1 x 73.7 cm). Courtesy the artist; Lisa Cooley Fine Art, New York; and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago.