On View presents images from noteworthy exhibitions
 

EMPLOYING ORDINARY MATERIALS, including tar, bricks, rope from lobster traps, and clothing, Karyn Olivier created a series of sculptures and installations that speak to collective memory and intersecting narratives. The conceptual mixed-media works are featured in “At the Intersection of Two Faults” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York.

“Fortified” (2018-20), a monumental work that stretches 20 feet across and stands 12 feet high, anchors the exhibition. Composed of stacked bricks, Olivier forgoes mortar in favor of a bounty of used clothing, creating a tenuous structure heavy with meaning. Individual lives, experiences, journeys, and loss are represented. The work is symbolic of numerous scenarios: the fate of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border; safety of residents of poorly maintained public housing; victims of the 1985 MOVE bombing of residential homes by Philadelphia police, killing 11 people, five of them children; and news of an event that occurred after its making, a high-rise condominium collapse in Surfside, Fla., with at least 18 dead and about 150 still missing.

Beyond the wall, Olivier presents “Falsehood (Cape)” (2021), a tattered, lemon yellow hoodie hanging solo from a coat rack made out of an old coal shovel. The work can be read as a metaphor for joy destroyed, referencing grief, racial injustice, and police murder. A mass of entangled color, “How Many Ways Can You Disappear” (2021) features a pile of pot warp gathered in a heap on the floor with buoys dangling above. In the exhibition description, the gallery states, “The lines and twisted metal traps they mark call to mind other detritus, other bodies washed ashore by sea migrations.” The works on view center the human experience and function as memorials. The body is absent, yet palpable.

Olivier joined Tanya Bonakdar last July and this is her first solo exhibition at the gallery. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she grew up in the United States and currently lives and works in Philadelphia where, in addition to making sculptures and installations, she has an active public art practice. CT

 

“Karyn Olivier: At the Intersection of Two Faults” is on view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York, from June 25-July 30, 2021. The artist will be in virtual conversation with professor and curator Linda Earle on July 13.

FIND MORE about the exhibition

 


KARYN OLIVIER, Installation view of “Fortified,” 2018-2020 (bricks, used clothing and steel, 144 x 240 x 30 inches / 365.8 x 609.6 x 76.2 cm, Dimensions variable), Edition of 3, 1 AP. | © Karyn Olivier, Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

 


KARYN OLIVIER, “Paralatuvier (Expansion),” 2021 (photo printed on aluminum, asphalt/tar roofing, 61 3/4 x 47 1/4 x 1 inches / 156.8 x 120 x 2.5 cm). | © Karyn Olivier, Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

 


KARYN OLIVIER, “Falsehood (Cape),” 2021 (wood, fabric, 79 x 19 x 15 inches / 200.7 x 48.3 x 38.1 cm). | © Karyn Olivier, Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

 


From left, KARYN OLIVIER, Installation view of “Falsehood (Cape),” 2021 (wood, fabric, 79 x 19 x 15 inches / 200.7 x 48.3 x 38.1 cm); “Rift Riff,” 2021 (aqua-resin, fiberglass, paint, 54 1/2 x 1762 x 2 1/2 inches / 138.4 x 4475.5 x 6.4 cm), Edition of 3; 1 AP; and “J’Ouvert (Seed Stage),” 2021 (chair, dirt, fabric, steel, silicone, 30 1/2 x 26 3/4 x 23 7/8 inches / 77.5 x 67.9 x 60.6 cm). | © Karyn Olivier, Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

 


KARYN OLIVIER, Installation view of “How Many Ways Can You Disappear,” 2021 (potwarp, salt-casted rope with resin, buoys, 179 x 98 x 73 inches / 454.7 x 248.9 x 185.4 cm). | © Karyn Olivier, Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

 


KARYN OLIVIER, Detail of of “How Many Ways Can You Disappear,” 2021 (potwarp, salt-casted rope with resin, buoys, 179 x 98 x 73 inches / 454.7 x 248.9 x 185.4 cm). | © Karyn Olivier, Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

 


KARYN OLIVIER, Installation view of “Fortified,” 2018-2020 (bricks, used clothing and steel, 144 x 240 x 30 inches / 365.8 x 609.6 x 76.2 cm, Dimensions variable), Edition of 3, 1 AP. | © Karyn Olivier, Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

 

TOP IMAGE: KARYN OLIVIER, Installation view of “How Many Ways Can You Disappear,” 2021 (potwarp, salt-casted rope with resin, buoys, 179 x 98 x 73 inches / 454.7 x 248.9 x 185.4 cm). | © Karyn Olivier, Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

 

FIND MORE about Karyn Olivier on her website

FIND MORE Olivier’s work was recently on view in a solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

READ MORE about her practice in a recent BOMB magazine interview

 

BOOKSHELF
Forthcoming in October, “Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves” documents the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. Organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, the exhibition traveled to the University at Buffalo Art Galleries.

 

SUPPORT CULTURE TYPE
Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. Culture Type is an independent art history project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Many Thanks for Your Support.