From The Drawer
MARGARET PETTEE OLSEN and CHRIS COFFIN
October 1-October 29, 2021
This is our new section to welcome budding collectors to the work of contemporary working artists.
Chris Coffin is a surfer, ocean lifeguard, and open water swimmer. He is a two time New York Foundation on the Arts grant recipient, a Rema Hort Mann grant nominee, and a Fulbright Scholarship nominee. He has been reviewed in the New York Times, Addict Magazine, Long Island Newsday, The New Haven Independent, and the Williamsburg/Greenpoint News+Arts. His work has been lectured on at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Coffin resides in Connecticut with his family, and creates his work in and around the waterways of Brooklyn, Long Island, and the New England Coast.
"The water has always inspired Chris Coffin. Influenced by his childhood on Long Island and his background as a lifeguard, swimmer and surfer, his overall body of work is comprised of a wide variety of media including photography, video, installation, performance and drawing. For his window installation, Coffin expands upon a current drawing series, Islands and Coastlines, in which he depicts the water’s edge in rippling, repetitive graphite lines reminiscent of waves, seismic maps and electrocardiograms. In order for Coffin to draw an area, he must have first experienced that stretch of coastline either by swimming, kayaking or surfing the distance. The final drawing, which appears as a bird’s eye view, is in fact tracing the artist’s path. It documents his personal connection to the water and the space where ocean meets land. He uses the languages of science, cartography and technology to create relationships with nature while addressing his own autobiographical history and geography."
Heather Darcy Bhandari: Former Director of Exhibitions, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY - Gallery Director of Mixed Greens Gallery, NYC
MARGARET PETTEE OLSEN
Margaret Pettee Olsen (American, 1963) is best known for her conceptually loaded and spatially dynamic abstract paintings. “I’m preoccupied with altering perception and usual orientations in looking and seeing,” she has said. Influences are a nascent career in dance, and professional work in the New York printmaking world, where she steeped herself in the visual language of post-war painter-printers, pop, and other artists. Pettee Olsen established the professional lithography press, Oberon Press, in TriBeCa in 1990 as the founding curator. She has since primarily focused on painting. With its emphasis on color-shifting-paint finishes and an illusory sense of fractured yet fluid space, her paintings have been described as “insistently interactive.” They suggest a view that is dynamic, multivalent, and complex. Margaret Pettee Olsen maintains studios in Denver, Colorado, and the Hudson River Valley, in New York.
"Pettee Olsen is relentless in combining varying painterly gestures, which she additionally breaks up with bars and irregular floaters. Movements into space or from edge to edge are interrupted by shimmering details and hues that reside on the surface. Composed of autonomous passages that transmit to one another, her paintings optically and viscerally suggest sound and rhythm combinations that register physically and hint at Pettee Olsen’s early study in dance. Drawn from the last few years, the selected works allow the viewer to acquaint themselves with the range of her expression and yet to discern her ever-expanding vocabulary. Created over a period of time, each painting is its own field of operations, but the artist’s process may introduce a theme and variations from one to the next. Our need to find consistency is rewarded by finding threads within contingencies, which in the real world may bring us to truth or have us adhere to constructed fictions."
—Stephanie Grilli, Art Historian, Yale PhD