Saturday, August 20, 2011

Olsen’s Chasing Infinity travels to Montserrat’s Frame 301

BEVERLY August 22, 2011- Montserrat College of Art Galleries is pleased to present David Olsen’s Chasing Infinity, curated by Lydia Gordon. The mixed media painting installation in Frame 301 is inspired by the artist’s recent travels across America. Through abstract drawings entwined with recognizable hints of figures, Olsen’s site-specific vibrant, three dimensional installation urges the viewer to think about their own relationship to space and the environmental triggers that influence personal histories. 

Olsen voyaged across the country with the purpose of experiencing the most inspiring natural landscapes. While at these sites, the artist filmed, photographed, and drew on-location in response to his physical experience within these settings. Olsen’s feelings of existentialism and the affect of nature’s influence on the human emotion are represented in a new series of work, Chasing Infinity. Inspired by the surfacing of the artist’s childhood memories in response to these environments, Olsen comments on a distinct memory linked to location. His family vacationed in Pyramid Lake, a surreal place just north of Las Vegas where his father instructed him on how to survive if the US was under attack. As the artist travelled, his memories were re-told like stories, triggering responses and acting as a platform for drawing infinite connections between the artist’s past and present. Chasing Infinity discovers the never-ending relationship between human life and nature. 

Like Olsen’s previous work, this site-specific installation was completed with the help and collaboration of students. Montserrat students worked with the artist during a week long installation process. Chasing Infinity draws in the viewer’s attention through the use of an intense color palette cast across Frame 301’s walls and windows. With street style contours, the artist uses both organic and human-made objects to create a new atmosphere by reflecting on his drawings, research, and overall time on the road. The artist hopes to guide the audience to both a familiar and totally new place, which will inspire thoughts about their own relationship to the spaces they occupy.

Originally from Seattle, Washington, David Olsen is a Boston-based artist working in multiple media. Olsen received his BFA from the University  of Washington and his MFA from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. David has recently shown at Art Chicago (Chicago, IL) Project Gallery (Marseille, France), and French Neon (Brooklyn, NY). His work is also included in the permanent collections of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (Madison, Wisconsin), KUMU Museum of Art (Tallinn, Estonia) and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC). David is Co-Director of Media Arts and Sciences and Assistant Professor of Media Arts at Wellesley College (Wellseley, MA).


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