Gallery Artists

Lisa Olson


Statement

If asked to find a unifying theme among the disparate conceptual paths that I follow in my studio work, an idea of navigating danger would be one answer. We are tender and fragile and look for safe ways and armor. What are the ways we negotiate the world? Memory and history, psychology, natural sciences and biology, mathematics and physical sciences, fairy tales and myths all interest me as tools and systems.

I find that a simple visual image can carry a number of rich metaphorical meanings: a folded leaf, an animal’s paw, a chart or a graph, a hand wrapped in a bandage—all say many times more than literal meanings imply.

I often come back to three related themes as source materials— childhood, dreams and fairy tales. All three are rich in imagery and also familiar and accessible to most for us. We were all children and knew the world through a child’s mind; we dream, we understand fairy tales and myths as part of our cultural knowledge. In addition, all are intriguing mixes of strange worlds in seemingly simplified conditions, with a sense of fatalism or cause and effect tempered by unexplained possibility and potential. And all, of course, are stories of navigation.

 

Bio

Lisa Olson received an MFA in Mixed Media and a BS in Microbiology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her work is in public and private collections across the United States and in Europe, including the Universities of California Los Angeles and San Diego, Brown University, the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Boston Public Library.


Numerorum Mysteria: Moment, time, turn
Letterpress and collage
18” x 23 1⁄2”


Lift
Letterpress text and inkjet imagery
6 3⁄4” x 10 1⁄4” x 1⁄2”


Lift
Letterpress text and inkjet imagery
6 3⁄4” x 10 1⁄4” x 1⁄2”

 

Grimm Economics: Signs and Systems
Letterpress text and collage
each panel 8 1⁄2” x 11”

 

Grimm Economics: Signs and Systems (detail)
Letterpress text and collage
each panel 8 1⁄2” x 11”

 

Artifice/Principia
Letterpress and collage
closed accordion 22” x 10” x 1 1⁄2”