Taxter & Spengemann

Scott Olson

05 Apr - 10 May 2008

© Scott Olson
Untitled, 2008
Oil on wood panel
12 9 in.


April 5th thru May 10th, 2008
Opens Saturday, April 5th from 6-8 pm

Ohio-based artist Scott Olson presents his first solo show of diminutive abstract paintings in the downstairs gallery. His fussy curiosities display, at first, an almost comic classicism, hewing close to a third generation academic style. A mishmash of lessons learned and plateaus reached by household names generations ago— Braque's fractured rigor, Malevich's mystical approach to Geometric Abstraction, and by a contemporary artist, as with Tomma Abts’ graceful blankets of order.
These and other now iconic approaches to abstraction are recombined and repurposed here, channeled through Olson's learned mind and capable hand. Frontloading in the library, with dense tracts of theoretical prose from Dada through to the 1970's French Supports/Surfaces movement, Olson freights his paintings with histories pure and diluted, original and derivative.
Olson's varied techniques--layering, taping, rubbing, scumbling, obliterating, incising, combing, varnishing-- feel like pure painting unburdened by the accomplishments of his predecessors. They appear compositionally satisfying and attractive (like most abstraction leached of its political intent or impact) lovingly generated stand-ins for Painting itself. No matter how laboriously concocted, they are surrogates in the Alan McCollum vein. The paintings are experimental yet mannered--self-conscious in their mindlessness since all the knowing has preceded the first brushstroke. Scott Olson received his BFA from Alfred University in 1998. In 2002 he completed a two-year residency at the Center for Contemporary Art in Kitakyushu, Japan. He is currently working towards his MFA in painting at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Olson has been included in group exhibitions and performances at: Gavin Brown’s Passerby, New York; Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan; Museum fuer angewandte Kunst ,Vienna, Austria; Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo. He also produced an audio CD, Liam Gillick Meets Scott Olson in Japan on the Whatness
label in 2002. This is Olson's first solo exhibition at Taxter & Spengemann. In the fall of 2006 he exhibited a suite of paintings in the upstairs gallery. Olson will make his Los Angeles solo debut at Overduin and Kite gallery in June 2008.

Tags: Tomma Abts, Liam Gillick, Kazimir Malevich, Scott Olson