Ten More Shows to See Now!
Margaret Pettee Olsen. The impressive Margaret Pettee Olsen: Relay is at 808 Projects. Made up of the Colorado artist’s mostly large, all-over abstracts, the show was curated by art historian and art writer Stephanie Grilli. The pieces are richly layered: The bottom-most coat comprises vaporous blacks set against a light-colored ground with tones that range from off-white to amber. They almost look photographic until you notice there are no actual images; it just looks like there are. As it turns out, Pettee Olsen is referencing actual print-making: She pulled prints for contemporary masters. On top of this layer, automatist brushstrokes, some very wide and bold, obscure the underlying black and light field. Over that, she “edits” out part of the compositions with hard-edged shapes that define the surfaces, with the other layers falling back into imaginary space. One interesting aspect of these paintings is the way that she juxtaposes related colors to create what appear to be “flashes,” where the color shifts as you walk by the paintings. Through November 30 at 808 Projects, 808 Santa Fe Drive, 720-440-3099, 808projects.com. Read the full review of Relay.
Review: The Reality of Abstraction at 808 Projects…
Pettee Olsen’s paintings are richly layered. The bottom-most coat of vaporous blacks set against a light-colored ground, with tones that range from off-white to amber, appear almost photographic until you notice there are no tangible images — it just looks like there are. Pettee Olsen is actually referencing printmaking; she has a background pulling prints for contemporary masters. On top of this layer, automatist brushstrokes, some very wide and bold, obscure the underlying black and light field. Over that, she “edits” out part of the compositions with hard-edged shapes that define the surfaces as the other layers fall back into imaginary space. One particularly interesting aspect of these paintings is the way Pettee Olsen juxtaposes related colors to create what appear to be “flashes,” shifting colors as you walk by. This effect is so complete, I asked if she was using luminescent paints like those applied to parking lots. Turns out she wasn’t…
Fifteen Ways for Art Lovers to Kick Off Denver Arts Week
When First Friday collides with Denver Arts Week on Friday, November 2, it will create an explosion of exhibition openings, $52.80 art deals at galleries all over town and, as it happens, Día de los Muertos street celebrations connected to artwalks in the Santa Fe Drive and 40 West arts districts. On Saturday, November 3, take advantage of DAW’s Night at the Museums to visit the Denver Art Museum, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, the Clyfford Still Museum and the Byers-Evans House Museum gallery in the Golden Triangle, as well as the close-by Museo de las Americas, all for free. You’ll also find plenty of art to explore in RiNo and other regional art districts. But just in case you’re still confused about where you want to land this weekend, here are some standout stops.
Relay: Paintings by Margaret Pettee Olsen
808 Projects, 808 Santa Fe Drive
November 1 through 30
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 1, 6 to 8 p.m.
Margaret Pettee Olsen, an abstract painter with a background in limited-edition lithography, brings a printmaker’s ethos into her work, which consists of polymer-layered canvases that are painted in broadly brushed swaths of organic tangles, drips and markings she calls “edits.” See Olsen’s latest at this exhibition curated by Denver art writer Stephanie Grilli.
Relay: Paintings by Margaret Pettee Olsen
Curated by Stephanie Grilli
808 Santa Fe Drive, downtown Denver
Nov 1st – 30th, Thursdays–Sundays, 1-6 and by appointment
Opening reception Thursday, Nov 1, 6-8
Recognized as one of Colorado’s prominent painters, Margaret Pettee Olsen was included in the 2018 exhibit Made in Colorado, a wide-ranging survey with 40 intriguing contemporary artists from across the state, and she was in the 2016 exhibit Colorado Women in Abstraction, a showcase of artists who have been influential in the abstract movement in Colorado. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University, she was founding curator of Oberon Press in TriBeCa, in Manhattan. This is her first Denver solo show.
‘The paintings of Margaret Pettee Olsen speak to our visual culture in which we are inundated with imagery on computer screens, smart phones, high-definition televisions, and other devices of what the artist calls our “media-driven version of experience.” Informed by abstract traditions, she ventures into new territory with the latest developments in pigments and with a sensibility that taps into the turbulence of our times.’ –Stephanie Grillli
“Celebrating the Best Contemporary Art of the State” : Olga Viso and Cameron Keith Gainer create two-venue survey
Stand out two-venue exhibit, Made In Colorado features artists who have working studios in the state. Pictured below on opening night is internationally renowned curator, Olga Viso and Artist/Publisher Cameron Keith Gainer, in front of, “TMI with Red Edits”. The two created the survey that celebrates “the best contemporary art in the state”. Jeff Lambson of Emmanuel Gallery, and Wayne Rogers of 808 Projects, are directors of the participating venues respectively. “TMI with Red Edits” is installed at 808 Projects in the arts district in downtown Denver.
The show runs from June 7th – July 31st, 2018 at 808 Projects
Pictured above: Opening night with Olga Viso and Cameron Keith Gainer with Margaret Pettee Olsen’s, painting, “TMI with Red Edits” installed on the north wall of the gallery.
From the artist interview:
“Pettee Olsen’s series of large scale canvases mimic the vacancy of digital overlays using only paint and the incredibly emotive hands of the painter herself. ”
Elizabeth Lee, Arts writer, Art New England November, 2016
“Women artists, long victims of the grip of critical subjugation, are beginning to get their due, thanks in part to groundbreaking exhibitions like Gwen Chanzit’s Women of Abstract Expressionism at the Denver Art Museum. With a national show of that scope on the local lineup, Cecily Cullen of Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Center for Visual Art decided to do something similar for Colorado’s healthy contingent of female abstractionists, and Westword critic Michael Paglia, a scholar of abstract art with a unique knowledge of who’s who in the state, was the clear choice to curate the CVA’s satellite exhibit. The result, Colorado Women in Abstraction, opens with a reception at 6 p.m. on July 15.”
Susan Froyd, Art critic, WestWord –A Village Voice magazine that covers the western United States http://www.westword.com/event/colorado-women-in-abstraction-7923758
“Pettee Olsen is an accomplished painter whose brushwork offers much to contemplate and absorb. Her large canvases are blatantly abstract but so rich in color, texture and gesture that one finds traces of the figurative. Her mark-making evokes image-editing software with graphic overlays, howling blank space, and chaotic trails of paint that weave sometimes fluidly, sometimes jarringly, through one another…. Pettee Olsen layers paint until it achieves a kind of controlled chaos, eventually approximating the feeling of what she calls a “media-driven version of experience.”
… In this intriguing show, Kane and Pettee Olsen search for new forms to host the wild hordes of zeroes and ones we encounter in our daily lives.”
Alexander Castro- Alexander Castro is a freelance journalist and arts writer living in Attleboro, Mass.
“Margaret seems to draw from art history itslef…from the caves of Lascaux to the canvases of Pollock. You can also trace her roots as a one-time dancer and print maker (for the likes of Motherwell, De Kooning and Stella). She builds intriguing surfaces by impregnating the work with metal pigment, creating pieces that are deep, light reactive, lush and rich, with a commanding scale and color range.”
Patrick J Hamilton, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th Street, New York, New York
Select National and International Exhibits of Note
© Margaret Pettee Olsen