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Karyn Olivier

Studio Building
Studio Interior
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Studio Location
Inbound: Houston, Houston, Texas, 2009. 13 billboard ads were converted to photographs of the landscape directly behind them.
Untitled (Coffee Table), 2005. Coffee table, foam board and paint, h.13’ w.50” d.23”
Toilet, 2006. Cast concrete, h.18” w.22” d.60’
It’s not over ’til it’s over, 2004/2009. I built a carousel that rotates clockwise at a rate of five minutes per revolution.
Doubleslide, 2006. Steel, h.7’ w.25’ d.22”.
Artist's Statement

I investigate our social interactions with familiar objects, spaces and each other, through the use of sculpture, installation, public works, photography and video. I often manipulate the familiar — from the redundancy of replicated objects to the exaggeration of what appears to be already there. My work often explores the changing countenance of intimacy as it fluctuates between a private (individual) experience and a social (collective) one. This exploration converges with my observation of nostalgia, which functions in my work through cultural and historical references. I conflate these, using the simplicity of a minimalist aesthetic to induce a perceptual shift in our reading of these once familiar objects.


Karyn Olivier, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, received her M.F.A. at Cranbrook Academy of Art and her B.A at Dartmouth College. Olivier has exhibited nationally and internationally at such venues as the World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures (Senegal), Gwangju and Busan Biennials, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, CAM Houston, Wanas Foundation, Whitney Museum of Art at Altria, P.S.1, the SculptureCenter and The Mattress Factory. Olivier has been the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, the William H. Johnson Prize, an Art Matters grant, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award and a Creative Capital Foundation grant. Olivier was an artist in residence at the Core Program, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.