Penny Olson: FROM THE FLOOR
April 1-May 26, 2016
In Penny Olson’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, she continues to expand her photography-based work in which she integrates an amalgamation of diverse interests and expertise - digital technology, nature, textiles, reductive aesthetics, and process-driven art.
For the new work featured in From The Floor, Olson looked to the physical environment where the work will be exhibited – the gallery space itself, with the floor becoming source material for imagery. Photographing various areas of the floor, she captured subtle changes in the light cast across its plane, from shades of blues and grays near the windows to warmer tones where the artificial light was more dominant. The artist then digitally “condenses” the high-resolution photographs until the original image distills into a painterly abstraction of complex, grid-like patterns.
Through the experimentation with images from ordinary observation, processed and condensed through the algorithms of technology, Olson calls attention to the details of our world as seen through the lens of technology.
The imagery and the creative process of Olson’s work recalls gridworks by Agnes Martin, Xerography during the 1970s, Nam Jun Paik’s deconstruction of technology, and most recently, on view at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, Gerhardt Richter’s large-scale piece Strontium, a black and white geometric mural derived from digitally-manipulated photographs.
Based in the Bay Area, Olson earned her MFA from UCLA and her BFA from California College of the Arts. She also studied at American Film Institute in Los Angeles, School of Visual Arts in New York, Mills College in Oakland, and in Japan at Miasa Bunka Center and Hongo Orimono Kobo. She has exhibited her work internationally and was a teaching associate and lecturer at UCLA for eight years.