Challenging the Figure: Works by Loren Olson

April 21, 2012 - June 17, 2012
West Lafayette artist Loren Olson in her own words on the origins of this body of work:

“In 2010 I was preparing to begin a new series. Beautiful colors purchased, color charts, experiments with the pigments complete, I was ready to begin. Then the Gulf Oil Disaster began.  Oil spewed out into the clear blue sea. The dolphins, birds, fish, the teeming life became a living hell and the planet seemed to be hemorrhaging.

Each day the dark spill got bigger. Day after day my bright colors seemed irrelevant. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t proceed as if this wasn’t happening. Waiting didn’t help. The pressure of the experience built and either I was going to expand or contract into depression.  All I could do was follow, the way I have always made art, open to the moment, allow what is to be, open to the unknown, and allow what is emergent to come through.

The first drawings were abstract lines cutting the page, one after the next. A figure began to emerge. It became clear. One figure standing, symmetrical, frontal, just like the years of vases. I could say it was like a nose on my face, I didn’t see it coming.

The drawings are graphite on translucent plastic film. The marks are best seen lighted from behind. The drawings translated into the digital world, overlapped, combined in groups,  presented in different formats large and small, exploring the interface between direct use of materials and a virtual world, ideas that excite, embracing the future, “˜Challenging the Figure.'”