Artist: Scott Olson
Exhibition title: Watercolors
Venue: Feuilleton, Los Angeles, US
Date: November 11 – December 2, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Feuilleton, Los Angeles
Feuilleton is pleased to present a solo exhibition of watercolors by Scott Olson.
These works are part of the daily practice of working on paper that Olson started in March of this year, thanks to the immediacy of the medium and the fact it allowed him to work at home amid other daily activities. Unlike his painting, which is the byproduct of a much more lengthy and labored process, watercolors allow him a certain nimbleness, which also responds to the practical history of the medium. “I view my work with watercolor,” he writes, “as a kind of schematic of a particular moment or thought. It seems fitting given watercolor’s role in recording natural histories prior to sensorial and technological advancements like photography and digital imaging, such as studies of fluid dynamics, geology, cartography or using abstract images to describe abstract processes.”
Prismatic and jewel-like, the form of these works evokes the nature of the medium. In other words, what they depict looks as if it were submerged in a shallow pool or underneath a veil of undulating water. Alternatively, the colors could be fragments of light refracted through a crystal and momentarily cast onto a surface, as though through a window. While their dense pictorial matrices are reminiscent of certain European modernists such as Paul Klee or Sonia Delaunay, the works are equally influenced by Olson’s interest in and personal history with playing improvisational music. Indeed, they could be read as abstract registrations of music– or even strange and improbable sheets of music which are meant to be fed into some kind of fantastical music machine. One imagines bright and lucid harmonies cascading into the ear, just as these abstractions shimmer into the eye.
Scott Olson (b. 1976, Syracuse, New York) lives and works in Kent, Ohio. He has recently had solo exhibitions at Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton (2020), James Cohan Gallery, New York (2019) and Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (2015). In 2017, the Cleveland Museum of Art organized a solo exhibition of his work, presented at the Transformer Station, Cleveland, OH. Olson has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including City Prince/sses at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2019); The Great Lakes Research, a part of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art at the Cleveland Institute of Art (2018); The Young Years at the Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College; Realization is Better than Anticipation, MOCA Cleveland (2013) and Painter Painter at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2013). His work is included in the permanent collections of institutions including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.