Biography

M. (Margaret) Pettee Olsen, (b. 1963 – Rochester, New York), received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and an MA from Columbia University. Primarily known as a painter of full-bodied somatic movement using reflective color, M. Initially, explored both dance and visual art, winning an invitation to tour as an understudy with the American Ballet Theater. Pivotally, the artist trained sights entirely on painting, attending RISD in pursuit of externalizing the perceptual shifts conjured through dance and other manner of movement. As a young artist in New York, M. was instrumental in establishing the lithography press, Oberon Press Ltd NYC, in Tribeca, as founding curator. Oberon collaborated with artists such as Vija Celmins, William T. Williams, Robert Mangold, and other artists in the city. Since then, M. has cultivated a more than three-decade career in painting. The artist’s paintings have been described as ”mutable perceptual events,” by art historian Stephanie Grilli, Yale PhD, and explore the relationship between upending meaning and our mind’s propensity for cobbling together a fluid and convincing worldview — real or not. Career highlights have been published in Artforum and Art News. The press has also received the artist positively in Westword — A Village Voice publication, The Denver Post, The Providence Journal, Art New England, and others. Pettee Olsen has recently been in residence with Michael David, M. David & Co., Brooklyn, NY, (2020), is a fellow of the Ucross Foundation (2019), and has received numerous awards, including an Artist Grant from the Rhode Island School of Design.

M. Pettee Olsen is a fully engaged participant in the current art scene with previous inclusion in symposia, interviews, and recorded podcasts.  M. Pettee Olsen’s work is included in private collections internationally. The artist maintains studios in the Hudson Valley and near the Flatirons of the American West.

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