Margaret Pettee Olsen is an American painter. She grew up in Rochester, New York, and pursued both visual and performance art. Her concerns with ideas beyond the politics of the body led her from her love of dance to training her focus on painting. She went on to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. After attending RISD, she moved to New York City in 1987. As a young artist, Pettee Olsen found viable work in the printmaking industry. On Varick Street she began working with a range of artists, such as Frank Stella, James Rosenquist, Barbara Kruger and others, on their large-scale printmaking projects. A few years later, she was instrumental in establishing the fine arts limited edition lithography press, Oberon Press, in TriBeCa, as founding curator.
While printmaking has influenced her work in terms of her thin application of paint media, Pettee Olsen is primarily known for her conceptually loaded and spatially dynamic abstract paintings which underscore the frenetic pace of our media-driven lives. Titles such as ‘Wag the Dog/White Washed’ and ‘Generated Buzz’ are suggestive of some of her concerns. While always a painter, Most recently she has begun the planning stages for several collaborative projects.
Works by the artist are held in collections in the United States and Japan, including The Rhode Island School of Design, The private collection of Mark Kostabi, The private collection of Martin Johnson, The David and Annette Raddock Collection, Robinson Waters & O’Dorisio Private Art Collection, and others.