B. INGRID OLSON: FOREHEAD AND BRAIN: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo

10 March - 17 June 2018

Within the confines of her studio, B. Ingrid Olson (American, born 1987) records her body as it shifts and relates to the surroundings and the camera lens, while simultaneously exploring performativity, the passing of time, and what she refers to as “the power dynamics of seeing versus being seen.” To this end, her photographs often contain blurred or fragmented imagery, which Olson achieves by doubling, masking, or distorting her own likeness through the use of mirrors and the manipulation of light sources. The results of this dynamic process are multidimensional objects that capture the world as seen through the eyes of an artist.

 

Olson also creates sculptural reliefs that, while seemingly minimal against the backdrop of her more pictorial-based works, likewise reference the corporeal experience. Comprising concave curves and molded recesses that are reminiscent of bodily forms, they offer a divergent, yet harmonious, counterpoint to the photographs. Moreover, by installing them at heights that correspond to elements of human anatomy, the artist playfully calls the viewer’s attention to the relationship between his or her body and these works as they coexist in a shared space.

 

For her first solo museum exhibition, Olson has taken over the Albright-Knox’s Gallery for Small Sculpture with a site-specific installation that uniquely engages the physical setting and its existing alcoves and cases. She was initially drawn to this space within the museum because of its symmetry and the ways in which it parallels the human frame. About this, the artist has said, “For me, the gallery space evokes an architectural correlate to a kind of physicalized mental space. I see each case as a perceptual memory quadrant, each containing impressions of the body within the space.”

 

This exhibition is organized by Godin-Spaulding Curator & Curator for the Collection Holly E. Hughes.