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Karyn Olivier: “Eye Around Matter”- Department of Art Visiting Artist Lecture Series

“The subject of my talk will be centered on my artistic practice, which explores our relationship to everyday objects and spaces. I will discuss my use of conflicting histories, memories, narratives and identities to confound and question presumed knowns. The talk will also address my manipulation and reinterpretation of art historical movements such as minimalism and examine how my work attempts to wrestle and collapse the past with the present. I will discuss my use of ‘blind spots’— the under-considered spaces we occupy as sites for activation. These sites aim to be democratic, granting agency to anyone who acknowledges this potential and decides to claim it. I will discuss my Caribbean ancestry in relationship to several projects, which address the collective experience of the diaspora as well as personal narratives and memories from my birth country.” – Karyn Olivier

Karyn Olivier, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, received a MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA at Dartmouth College. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Gwangju and Busan Biennials, Korea; World Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Dakar, Senegal; the Wanas Foundation, Sweden; The Studio Museum, Harlem; The Whitney Museum of Art, New York; MoMA P.S.1, Long Island City; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; The Mattress Factory and Sculpture Center, Pittsburgh. In 2015 Olivier was commissioned to create public works for Creative Time in Central Park, New York and NYC’s Percent for Art Program. She is the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, the William H. Johnson Prize, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award and a Creative Capital Foundation grant. Olivier is currently an associate professor of sculpture at Tyler School of Art.