ORIGINAL SOURCE: Penny Olson
APRIL 5 - MAY 30, 2013
Penny Olson’s photography-based work is an exceptionally integrated synthesis of the artist’s diverse interests and expertise—digital technology, nature, textiles, reductive aesthetics, and process-driven art. Her abstract images infused into aluminum, mounted between Plexiglas or printed on paper are systematically composed using digital drawing tools. Olson samples, extrudes and overlays pixels from her more traditional photographs of plants and landscapes to create striated color fields of emanating light. The original source from nature is unrecognizable, but it is suggested through the resulting color palette, luminosity and the artwork’s title.
As is typical for this ever-experimenting artist, Olson is using the latest in digital technology to create her most recent work. For the Wildcat series, she took photographs with an iPad while on walks through Wildcat Canyon in Berkeley and used these images as the basis for her digital compositions. Unlike in past works, she overlaid her pixel constructions on top of the original photographs, which were left intact, creating a dual layer image. The underlying photographic image is almost entirely obscured, but some aspects, such as blurry streaks or patches of light and shadow, remain to meld with and interrupt the more mathematical abstraction.
Penny Olson received her BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts and her MFA from UCLA. She has also studied at the American Film Institute, Mills College, and the Miasa Bunka Center in Hongo Orimono Kobo, Japan. Olson has exhibited nationally and internationally, including a traveling exhibition shown at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Kyoto National Museum of Art, the Thailand Cultural Center, The National Art Galleries of Malaysia, the National Museum of Singapore, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Phillippines, Hong Kong Arts Center and the National Arts Center of Indonesia. Olson’s work has been included in the collections of Kaiser Permanente, Neiman Marcus, the Illinois State University Museum of Art and the Muyogi Museum of Art, Takasaki, Japan. This is her second exhibition and first solo exhibition at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary.