Blogs Untitled (Blog) Studio Visits

A Table of Curious Elements: Jay Heikes on Filthy Minds

In Studio Sessions, our ongoing web series, the 15 artists in the Walker-organized exhibition Painter Painter respond to an open-ended query about their practices. Here Minneapolis-based artist Jay Heikes discusses his contribution to the show with co-curator Bartholomew Ryan. As he’s traveled from studio to studio, Minneapolis-based artist Jay Heikes has carried a wall of […]

Jay Heikes, We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013), installed in Painter Painter. Photo: Gene Pittman

Jay Heikes, We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013), installed in Painter Painter. Photo: Gene Pittman

va_2012_painterpainter_bug_alpha[1]In Studio Sessions, our ongoing web series, the 15 artists in the Walker-organized exhibition Painter Painter respond to an open-ended query about their practices. Here Minneapolis-based artist Jay Heikes discusses his contribution to the show with co-curator Bartholomew Ryan.

As he’s traveled from studio to studio, Minneapolis-based artist Jay Heikes has carried a wall of tools composed of electric drills, hammers, and saws that he uses in making his work. Always interested in transformation, he began to think about how the tools we use determine the things we make, or more abstractly tie us into certain ways of thinking. Asking himself whether changing the tools could also change the work, Heikes began to invent new implements constructed out of the detritus of the studio: found materials with peculiar provenance, pigments, dyes, fabrics, or negative throwaway forms from previous works. In making We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013), his work in Painter Painter, he was inspired by the history of the avant-garde, and specifically the manifesto as a mode of address, and looked to groups such as the Suprematists, Futurists, or even the Shakers, who used new language to create new realities.

As Heikes assembled his constructed “tools” on a studio wall, he began to think of them as a form of painting. While painters–including Gerhard Richter and Jack Whitten — have long created tools as a means to bypass previous ways of working and arrive at a different kind of mark-making or application, here Heikes’ instruments themselves become the marks — they delineate the paintings’ borders and are the motifs of composition. A number of elements seem poised to be used in some elaborate way, evolving in more recent works toward a greater level of formal abstraction. As the project develops, the usefulness of a tool is situated in its openness to possibility within painting, in its ability to be free of bounded real-world utility. Ultimately, it seems as if Heikes may be shaping a proposition about abstraction as something necessary, to be used and valued as much as anything else.

Jay Heikes with The "ear" in Jay Heikes' We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013). Photo: Gene Pittman

Jay Heikes with the “sea ball” in We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013). Photo: Gene Pittman

Bartholomew Ryan: Almost everything in We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds seems to involve ready-made materials that you have cut, grafted, painted, dyed, and generally manipulated into something that seems simple and somehow inevitable: Like, “Of course that thing should exist (even though it hasn’t heretofore).” One exception is the little furry ball that hangs near the top right. You called it a sea ball, but what is it? Where did you get it?  Did you do anything to it? Is it still alive?

Jay Heikes: I’m not sure what it is exactly. I found it by the sea in the coastal village of Acciaroli in the south of Italy. The beach was littered with them, and they were just so perfect in their natural state. I had been thinking for a long time of something that is non-narrative and decided that nature is the one thing that doesn’t tell a story, that we put a narrative on to it by living within it. But then I realized how off that conclusion was, because it was casting itself in fossils and petrified wood and sculpting things like “sea balls.” At times, it feels like a clown nose or a mole, which satisfies my desire for the work to be both creepy and beautiful, although within the larger composition I think it becomes another tool wrapped up in the romantic fate of the readymade. It was there in front of me and made me jealous, in using the tides of the Mediterranean to make a sculpture of dead and dried plant matter.

Ryan: Let’s move from the clown nose to the wax ear in the exhibition. Ears, of course, are about listening. Are you interested in listening? In a certain kind of receptivity?

Heikes: The “basics” are something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I get sucked into these structuralist texts from the 1960s with titles like Alchemy: Ancient and Modern or Asbestos: The Silk of the Mineral Kingdom and find myself understanding the cosmos in a much more personal way. When a text tells me that gold is related to perfection and leads to sin, I immediately get seduced by the passing on of elemental investigations from the old world and try to understand if we are still engaged in the same kind of listening or associative behavior. Are we listening to the materials? At times, I don’t think we are. There’s a hopeless divorce from the knowledge of where things actually come from, how they are mined and then presented to us as objects or products.

I’m getting away from the question, though. Am I interested in listening? I would say that I want to absorb, which includes listening. As for a receptivity, I look to a time when the limits of knowledge were more naive and up for grabs. When mystical thought and the charlatan were still very persuasive. We live in a time when Science is winning, but people have historically done unexpected things against better judgment. It was not that long ago when people were playing with a handful of mercury like it was a curious toy. You could say that through these mistakes we’ve built a better, safer world, and I would agree, but my fear is that when the earth has had enough of our tinkering we will be left in a state of complete elemental amnesia. Maybe amnesia is the wrong word because the knowledge was never there in the first place. Maybe this is all ether hiding a “back to the basics” objective on my part, but what I’m realizing is that I don’t know what the basics are myself, so I’m trying to create a set of tools that will in turn find their own undecided function.

To be more direct about the object itself, the “ear” is made from those little Laughing Cow cheeses, which are covered in a combination of paraffin and micro-crystalline wax. The dirt and shavings pressed into the wax are from my studio floor, and I inserted these map tack heads to look like a trail of piercings running up the side of the ear. It made me think of the severed ear of Vincent van Gogh and the gesture of being out of bounds or doing something crazy — the moment when you cross a line and physically enter the realm of hallucination. A hallucination that, with van Gogh, could have easily been brought on by the paints he was using, so again an elemental cloud is present.

The "ear" in Jay Heikes' We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013). Photo: Gene Pittman

The “ear” in Jay Heikes’ We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013). Photo: Gene Pittman

Ryan: The painter going crazy in his elemental cloud. When I visited your studio recently, you were breaking out in hives, and we suspected it was a reaction to one of the many odd materials you were using or perhaps mold from a work that was caught in a gallery basement during Hurricane Sandy. In a short text I recently wrote on your work, I considered the alchemical nature of your practice, this kind of magical thinking that allows you to play with all kinds of elements and formulas, to arrive at specialized materials that you use in many of your works. Let’s talk about the piece you call the wand, at the top left of the composition: a wooden rounded pole with a strand of copper wire at one end. I do like to think of you with a wand, although the notion is faintly embarrassing, because magic is not exactly associated with rigorously critical thinking in contemporary art. But I think one of the things I’ve always liked about your work is that it is prepared to lay itself bare in some way, to take the plunge into the possibility of a simplistic and reductive read from a public, while also entering terrain that feels very fertile. This is something that attracts me to a lot of artists working today. A re-embrace of the unknown, which some could say is a retrograde step in that it privileges the metaphysical over the material nature of existence, allows for a kind of mythologization of art. I think there is something quite authentically engaged within the way you work, like a sense that you really are searching for possibilities. Another way to look at the tools is to see them as iconographic for different possibilities, from science to magic, from the domestic to the industrial, from the deeply subjective to the objective. This might account for the way in which many people who are engaged in language, writers and poets, etc., seem to really be affected by this piece, or fascinated by it; because they see it as constructing a language or a system of thought. Do you see the wand as an indicator of one in a range of possible approaches to something? Or are you really dedicated to magic?

Heikes: I can only dream of the day when my work gives people hives. That would be true magic. Like figuring out how to trigger a build-up of histamines without a transfer of fluids or allergens, just a painting or sculpture that creates hives. For a moment, I thought about filling a gallery space with the sulphurlike scent that’s added to natural gas known as tert-Butylthiol to simulate a gas leak. There’s nothing like the instant thought of possibly exploding to put everyone on edge. In the end, I decided against it. It’s silly to talk about some of these ideas, but it gets to the heart of what I think about in the studio and with the wand specifically. I started making work in a performative way about 10 years ago, using existential theater and the work of Jean-Paul Sartre as inspiration for the compulsion that art has in its desire to reject stasis. Sartre talked about spilled treacle, an uncrystalized syrup made during the refining of sugar, as a metaphor for life and the viscosity of all things. It’s a substance that is both liquid and solid and denies our basic understandings of material properties. When I’m in that breakthrough moment making something, I think about treacle and try to let the materials be magical to see if an essence reveals itself, even though a lot of my work could melt away in a rainstorm.

The "wand" in Jay Heikes'

The “wand” in Jay Heikes’ We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013)

But magic is ultimately funny and I approach it with suspicion, just as any religion or belief system makes me question the presence of invisibility. So with the wand, I’m playing with the irony of using copper in a wand that is not connected to anything so it wouldn’t conduct electricity. But I’m not concerned with it conducting electricity per se, just that there is a leap from what could physically conduct. As if a magician was holding the thing that could actually move energy without knowing it. It’s a recurring problem for me in addressing things as varied as cosmological background radiation to reincarnation. Do I always have to search for unexplored possibilities or can I just present a kind of deadpan futility that acts as satire? Maybe I’m just an existentialist in denial.

Ryan: Let’s talk about the snaking form to the top right of the work. I bring it up because I know you began designing these tools with use as an actual possibility, and this is one of the few that was used in the construction of another work. It was used in one of your paintings from last year that was constructed through layering paper and dried ink, creating an almost stonelike surface, which you then monoprinted with the texture of animal hides. In the painting Filthy Minds (2012), there are these hatchings that go up the side that come from using the snake to apply the print. So you have these virtually primitivist paintings that are also composed through these new, distinctly handmade tools. You gave an earlier group of that series titles from various caves around the world, such as Ear of Dionysus (2011), which came into the Walker’s collection last year. The titles conjure some faintly ridiculous, near pompous classical sensibility, but the works aren’t totally ironic. Are these tools meant for use in terms of an applied nature? Or have they become useful for the way in which they help as formal motifs that contribute to the composition of the work on the wall through how they are arranged?

Detail of We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013)

The “snaking” in Jay Heikes’ We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds (2013)

Heikes: I used the snaking on a painting at a moment when I thought I was moving toward using the tools in a performative Gerhard Richter kind of way. In this case, I used it as a stamp, inking it and then applying pressure to the face of a painting that I quickly titled Filthy Minds, which differed from all of the paintings that I had titled after existing caves up to that point. It was an important precursor to what became We lead healthy lives to keep filthy minds, which is included in Painter Painter, and became the symbol of what I didn’t want the tools to become. There was a feeling that they shouldn’t play a bit part, that they should be the focus, so by making the painting I realized I had used them in a way that I had hoped to resist. Afterwards, I concluded that the stamp was the content instead of the mark it had made because my focus from the beginning was how to challenge the structure of language at its most primitive starting point. When I was making the tools, I thought about cave people sitting around sculpting because it was the only available language. I guess grunting and gesturing too, but in the end I saw the painting as a mistake that helped me get to the wall of tools. As for the formal aspects of the snaking, I saw it as a form that could anchor the composition. So yes, the tool had become a motif and held within in it a kind of crooked beauty, but it also reminded me of a jester’s leggings, which is maybe an aside from years of thinking about the role of the artist.

Jay Heikes, _Filthy Minds_, 20XX. Photo: Jason Wyche

Jay Heikes, Filthy Minds (2012). Photo: Jason Wyche

I guess it’s funny now that I’m making less interesting tools that are leading to more interesting drawings, so the thing I had resisted and the process that the painting hinted at has reversed itself completely. The new drawings feel like musical scores for minor planets, renegotiating how sheet music could look for something so abstract, that of a lifeless floating rock full of possibilities. They’re spacey and psychedelic and owe a lot to David Reed, John Cage, and the Japanese avant-garde of the 1960s. But I haven’t abandoned the tools completely, they’re just becoming less tool-like and more autonomous as wall sculptures that seem more direct and symbolic, like a dirty palette instead of a table of curious elements.

Dianna Molzan: Voguing its Structure

In Studio Sessions, our ongoing web series, the 15 artists in the Walker-organized exhibition Painter Painter respond to an open-ended query about their practices. Here Dianna Molzan presents a visual diary of the making of her painting Untitled (2010-2013).   Dianna Molzan lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BFA from the School […]

In Studio Sessions, our ongoing web series, the 15 artists in the Walker-organized exhibition Painter Painter respond to an open-ended query about their practices. Here Dianna Molzan presents a visual diary of the making of her painting Untitled (2010-2013).

 

Dianna Molzan lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, 2001 and an MFA from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 2009. Recent exhibitions include Grand Tourist, ICA Boston, 2012; Bologna Meissen, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2011; Overduin and Kite, Los Angeles; Vilma Gold, London; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Remarks on Surface: An Interview with Alex Olson

In Studio Sessions, our ongoing web series, the 15 artists in the Walker-organized exhibition Painter Painter respond to an open-ended query about their practices. Here Los Angeles–based artist Alex Olson converses with exhibition co-curator Eric Crosby. Eric Crosby To begin, let’s start with appearances. Whenever I encounter one of your paintings, I learn something new […]

Proposal 3   2012
oil on linen
61 x 43 in.
Photo: Brian Forrest

In Studio Sessions, our ongoing web series, the 15 artists in the Walker-organized exhibition Painter Painter respond to an open-ended query about their practices. Here Los Angeles–based artist Alex Olson converses with exhibition co-curator Eric Crosby.


Eric Crosby

To begin, let’s start with appearances. Whenever I encounter one of your paintings, I learn something new about paint—its materiality, its consistency, its presence as image and surface. What is paint to you, and how do you describe your use of it?

Alex Olson

I’d say there are two main qualities of paint, specifically oil paint, that especially appeal to me. One is its enormous range as a material. Depending on how it’s applied, it can read from graphic to visceral. Most of my paintings take full advantage of this quality, incorporating a variety of tools and marks to arrive at the finished piece. The second quality is its extensive history. It’s impossible to make a mark at this point that doesn’t come with a historical referent, but this is actually a huge benefit. You can pull from art history’s enormous catalogue and build off of a past meaning, re-situating it in the present toward a different end. In doing so, it’s important to understand how a specific mark or idea functioned in the past versus now, and to consider what using it now would mean, but this creates even richer possibilities to choose from.

Crosby

And do you think of your paintings as abstract? Does that word have any currency in your practice?

Olson

While I don’t mind using “abstract painting” as a short-hand to describe what I do, I don’t think in terms of “abstraction” or “abstracting.” In fact, the way I approach painting is almost the opposite in that nothing is an abstraction of something else: it literally is what it is. A brushstroke will read as an image of a brushstroke and as a physical brushstroke. The overall look of one of my paintings is never precisely identifiable, but it isn’t an abstraction of something else either. It’s its own thing.

Record   2012
oil on linen
51 x 36 in.
Photo: Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

Crosby

When Bart [Ryan] and I visited your studio back in February, we talked at length about issues of surface and process, which stemmed from your interest in painting as a kind of language.

Olson

I do think that painting is a language, as all marks are referential, but that’s just one element that comes into play for me when making a painting. My focus is on choreographing these marks in ways that prompt a desire to read, but without providing precise language to do so. It’s about suspending the act of looking and judging for the viewer, and hopefully encouraging a constant reassessment of these judgments.

Crosby

Yet each gesture, each discrete mark, feels entirely available. Your paintings don’t seem to hide any aspect of their making. Is this an important part of your practice?

Olson

Yes, you can excavate my paintings into the parts used to build them, although it might not always be easy to tell the order in which they were laid down. I want the paintings to be very self-evident in their construction, so that there is a transparency for the viewer in the architecture of the works, rather than something virtuosic with the paint. I tend to favor blunt, indexical, familiar marks. My goal isn’t to transport the viewer; it’s to offer up everything on the surface for the viewer to parse out, no additional text required.

Relay   2012
oil on linen
75 x 53 in.
Photo: Brian Forrest

Relay (detail)
Photo: Brian Forrest

Crosby

It’s interesting that you position the work against the idea of virtuosity, which of course has a long tradition in the history and criticism of painting. The word conjures a very specific, even heroic image of the work of a master painter.

Olson

The values that are associated with virtuosity in paint are ones that I’m just not interested in. For instance, I never want my work to read as heavily labored, so that the labor overrides the rest of the work. Instead, I’m trying to make clear, accessible paintings, built using deliberate marks. Generally, I choose marks that have the ability to behave as stock signage—meaning that they act as a sign but remain unattached to a singular definition—such as a dash or an “x.” They are very flexible, and can conjure up associations without delivering one precise read.

Crosby

Can painting be a space of illusion for you, or is that something you actively deny in your practice?

Olson

Illusion rarely comes into play in my work, and when it does, it’s made in a flat-footed, obvious way. The paintings are very present and external, and all the marks are to the scale of the tools used to make them and to the hand. The scale of the paintings is also in relation to a viewer’s body, ranging from portrait-size to person-size, so that they remain discrete viewing experiences rather than overwhelming or miniature.

Open Letter   2009
oil on linen
41 x 29 in.
Photo: Alex Olson

Crosby

Yet in surface and support, they can take on a close relationship to the wall.

Olson

Yes, I work on very thin stretchers, since it helps to bring attention to the surface of the work and the experience of engaging with it. Thicker stretcher bars encourage a read of painting-as-object, while painting directly on the wall causes a conversation of painting-as-architecture. Instead, I want the work to exist in this other zone, neither sculpture nor stand-in, but more like a proposal. It offers a contained visual experience that presents a set of signs on its surface for negotiation, which involves a greater amount of projection than would a more spatial experience.

Crosby

There’s also a strong temporal aspect to your work. I’m curious about one painting in particular—Mark (November 2011–February 2012)—which you included in your last exhibition at Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago.

Olson

The painting you’re referring to looks a lot like my studio walls, which I am constantly wiping my fingers on, either from touching a wet painting before it’s dry or from mixing paint, or just from general studio messiness. For this last show at Shane Campbell Gallery, I decided to record all of these swipes onto a single painting, thereby giving some indication of the choices that went into making the show. You can find evidence of ideas that stuck and those that were edited, and I think this helps to highlight the fact that the paintings are not predetermined but are built through a process of call and response. This particular painting, therefore, became like a diary or a calendar, and served as an introduction to the other works. I also liked how it so obviously demonstrated a touching of a surface, since most of the other works involved a grazing, scraping, stroking, or carving in order to point back to their own surfaces.

Mark (November 2011–February 2012)   2011-2012
oil on linen
24 x 18 in.
Photo: Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

Crosby

It sounds like you’ve developed a complete mental catalogue of all possible marks!

Olson

I don’t think the catalogue is complete by any means! But I do experiment a lot with mark-making and testing new tools in order to see how different marks can read. One way I try out new marks is by making works on paper that aren’t studies but instead are more like aids for thinking through the paintings. These works live on my studio floor and I treat them as utilitarian while they are active, grabbing one that might have a part on it that will assist me at a particular time, but then perhaps weeks later, using it again for a different idea. These then gather aspects of multiple paintings over the course of a body of work, becoming a record for the work’s development as a whole.

each: Untitled   2012
oil on gessoed paper
17 x 14 in.
Photo: Brian Forrest

Crosby

So your paintings develop in a very relational or dialogic fashion in the studio? I think this is a concern shared among many of the artists in our upcoming show Painter Painter.

Olson

Yes, the paintings are created simultaneously or in response to one another. When I’m making a show, I consider how each painting will perform a different role, offering a range experiences: some are quieter than others, some more pronounced, some are tangents, and so forth. However, while each painting is distinct, they often overlap in the types of marks used to construct them. Two paintings might begin with the same infrastructure but take different paths to their conclusions. For instance, in Proposal 1 and Proposal 5, both began with a ground of the same curving marks, but then each diverged into its own unique form, with the initial marks reading extremely differently by the end.

Proposal 1   2012
oil on linen
61 x 43 in.
Photo: Brian Forrest

Proposal 5   2012
oil on linen
61 x 43 in.
Photo: Brian Forrest

Crosby

And when does the process of naming come into play? Your titles generally specify roles or job functions (e.g., Editor, Archivist, Orator) as well as aspects or instances of language (for example, Shorthand, Turn of Phrase, Announcement, Score). Why is that?

Olson

Generally, I title paintings once the work is done. I pick titles that embody the function of the paintings rather than what they look like. I also favor titles that have more than one meaning, or serve as multiple parts of speech. The goal is to highlight how the painting is active or in constant flux, without being too illustrative.

Crosby

It sounds like a balancing act, yet some of your paintings feel more outwardly referential than others. As images, they participate in a vast visual culture and inevitably come into contact with other contexts. What visual contexts outside of painting interest you?

Olson

While I would never want a painting to appear as a depiction of something specifically, the work definitely pulls influences from painting’s history as well as from sources outside of art altogether. I keep files each month of images that interest me, through scanning websites and blogs. Along with art references, these images usually include textiles, architectural surfaces and façades, graphic design for its ability to have marks embody ideas, and just general odd collisions of visuals wherever they might crop up. I am looking for things that are subtly elegant and simultaneously absurd, things that sneak up on you as baffling or as a contradiction and cause you to reconsider them.

Crosby

And is this also true of what you find compelling in art history?

Olson

Yes, I tend to respond to work that goes beyond a one-liner or extreme craftsmanship. I have a rule for my own work, which is no solving-by-decorating, meaning don’t just add things if they aren’t performing a function. That being said, I’m drawn to simple solutions with expansive impacts. Some of my favorites artists who excel at this include Robert Ryman, Agnes Martin, and Lucio Fontana. I also look at work that embodies an idea in lieu of explicit content, such as the work of Jo Baer, Joan Mitchell, Philip Guston, Lee Lozano, and Mary Heilmann. I love an artwork that has an element of tangible creativity in it, so that I didn’t see that particular solution coming. Richard Tuttle is a master at this, Jasper Johns and Moira Dryer, too.

Crosby

Sometimes I feel sorry for contemporary painting because everyone is so eager to historicize it (myself included). From your vantage point, what’s at stake? What exchanges or dialogues are you having with the medium’s past?

Olson

I don’t necessarily feel part of a specific movement, but I do feel like there are kindred spirits out there among my peers. What’s at stake is that each generation has the opportunity to reevaluate narratives of the past in a manner that makes sense in the present. Ideas tend to recirculate, but they might mean something completely different in today’s context. It’s important to restate them in new ways in order to better communicate them, and to engage with them not always in opposition but in response.

Specifically, I consider myself to be coming out of and responding to the Robert Ryman camp of how-to-paint over the what-to-paint. The BMPT group [Daniel Buren, Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier, Niele Toroni] was very significant to me in grad school, as well as Supports-Surfaces. From these artists, I took away an understanding of painting as an apparatus that could be dismantled and rebuilt toward new meanings. I was also influenced by many of the artists featured in the exhibition High Times, Hard Times. Artists such as Ree Morton and Howardena Pindell were a revelation for their insistence on experimenting with materials and injecting subjectivity into the work without turning out overtly historic, expressionistic artworks. I see myself as building from all these perspectives, not just one singular history.

Crosby

Tell us about your current show at Lisa Cooley in New York. What new concerns are emerging out of that work?

Olson

My concerns tend to remain consistent, as do the parameters that I work within, but how I approach making the paintings shifts between bodies of work. Usually new paintings are built in response to the last. For my show at Lisa Cooley’s, each painting is loosely based on an idea of a pairing that either collaborates with or contradicts its counterpart. For instance, a graphic version of a brushstroke will conjure up one particular read, but then it will be competing for attention alongside a much more textured, bodily version of itself that points to a different story. I’m trying to propose surfaces whose signposts aren’t always in agreement, and then see how the brain might privilege one indicator versus the other. The show is titled Palmist and Editor, as these are two professions that both derive information from surfaces, one in the form of texture and one in the form of text.

Installation view, Palmist and Editor, Lisa Cooley, New York, September 2012
Photo: Cary Whittier

Crosby

Palmist and Editor… I can’t wait to see it. What about painter? Do you identify with that title?

Olson

Thanks! Yes, I do identify as a painter. The ideas I am interested in work best for me in the form of paint on canvas. I also think painting is in a very generous position right now, in that its greatest asset is that it has no function other than as an art object. It isn’t fooling anyone: it’s extremely clear about what it consists of and what it’s offering. Viewers can then approach it as a site created for the sole purpose of delivering signs for visual engagement. This is an optimistic state, and one that I can’t ever see exhausting in favor of another form.

Harbor   2012
oil on linen
61 x 43 in.
Photo: Brian Forrest

Alex Olson lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BA from Harvard University in 2001, and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2008. Recent exhibitions include Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Laura Bartlett Gallery, London; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Her exhibition Palmist and Editor at Lisa Cooley in New York will be on view through October 28, 2012.