Knowledge Objects: Curtis Olson


Curtis Olson Antikythera

Three years in development, this body of work veers in a new direction from Olson’s work of the past twelve years. While utilizing techniques that he has developed and perfected over the past decade, the gestalt of the Antikythera work is quite a departure. The objects are substantial and sculptural in form, and feel at once mechanical and organic– as if they are on loan from a Natural History Museum in a slightly different reality. Consisting of dimensional wall pieces and freestanding sculpture, the works have a striking fortitude that can be comparable to monuments, diagrams, and relics. Ostensibly without a language or culture to explain them, the forms stand within their own vacated universe and seem to have been left to tumble through the ages as precious debris.

Of the work Olson says, “One of my inspirations for this body of work is it’s namesake; ‘Antikythera,’ referring to the Antikythera mechanism recovered in the year 1900 from an ancient shipwreck off the coast of a Greek Island. It’s significance and complexity was not understood for another 100 years. It was found to be an analog celestial computer built around 87 BC and pre-dating anything then known to be comparable by over 600 years. The story of this archeological find gave rise for my concept of lost knowledge and objects which we may not yet fully comprehend.” In addition, “I also think these objects are meditations on time,” he says, “geological, cultural, technological, and celestial.”

The pieces are specific, but not literal, rather they allude to things or states of being without actually representing them. Olson is interested in art that retains a flickering, fleeting quality, where many opposing ideas can be held in coexistence and more questions are raised than answered.

Please join us for our preview event Friday February 15th, or for the artist reception February 22nd from 6-9pm.