James Cohan is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of new paintings by Ohio-based artist Scott Olson at the gallery Olson is known for his improvised abstract paintings in which the final composition is determined by the aleatory interactions between color and his unconventional tools and materials. The exhibition will be on view at the gallery’s Lower East Side location from March 10 - April 23, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday, March 10 from 6 - 8 PM.
Over the last decade, Olson has created a process-based painting practice, which draws from the tools and history of painting, as well as music, performance, and improvisation. Olson has a background in digital music and his paintings often lend themselves to a synesthetic interpretation, where the choreography of color is linked to the auditory experience of musical compositions.
At the core of Olson’s practice is color’s entanglement with material and perception. Color in Olson’s paintings builds and decays, attacks and crumbles, shape shifts and bends into new, unexpected forms. Highly considered layers are stripped away as much as they are built up, giving voice to complex visual phenomena such as spatial confusion and intentionally interrupted gestures. The paintings work against final, realized forms and instead suggest a state of openness and evolution, where prismatic shards seem to unfold, perform and dissolve before the viewer’s eyes. As Olson describes, “I like the tensions that exist between decoration, composition, and anti-composition.”