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Work Samples

Absence/Presence (Installation shot 6)

Absence/Presence, ICA Baltimore, 2019

Parallax 1

Parallax, Mixed Media Installation, 2019

The Persistance of Shape

The Persistence of Shape, Lightwell Gallery, University of Oklahoma, 2019

Known/Unknown (from above)

Known/Unknown (from above), acrylic on panel, 23.5 x 17.75 in., 2019

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About Janet

Baltimore City

Janet Olney's picture
Using a personal language of shape and color, Janet Olney reframes the familiar to reveal an alternate world populated with things that defy naming. Her paintings and installations investigate the realm of uncertainty that lies just outside our awareness: a peripheral world straddling analog and digital spaces.   Originally from Boston, MA, Janet received her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA from the Hoffberger School of Painting (MICA). She is the recipient... more

Absence/Presence

ICA Baltimore, Solo Exhibition, 2019
Absence/Presence is a new body of work that explores absence as a presence and a sensation connected to spatial memory. Through a series of drawings, paintings, and digitally fabricated objects, Janet Olney asks viewers to navigate the ambiguity of the seen and unseen while grappling with the fleeting nature of perception. Using a language of abstraction and gesture, Olney remixes the various components to reflect on existence and the passage of time.

The Persistance of Shape

The Persistence of Shape,
Lightwell Gallery, University of Oklahoma

A growing number of physicists believe that reality is energy and exists only because human consciousness wills it to exist. When coping with this different definition of existence, we are confronted with the unreliably of perception. Our understanding of the surrounding world is skewed by our personal experience. The Persistence of Shape explores a realm of uncertainty that lies just outside our awareness and presents an alternative narrative to that of everyday life.

Through paintings and objects, this work presents unfamiliar spatial relationships and inspires moments of recognition that what we see may not be true. Using a personal language of shape and color, I reframe the familiar and reveal a world populated with things that defy naming. Within my invented spaces, shapes persist. Gesture becomes form, and forms are both planar and dimensional, blurring the lines between illusion, flatness, and object.

When we question what we believe to be true, assumptions are stripped away. There is the opportunity to understand the world through a new lens -- the experiences of others different from ourselves.

If x, Then y

Visarts in Rockville, December 2017

From the press release: In this body of work, Janet Olney applies conditional statements and logic to perceptual events. The paintings propose if-then statements and offer a conclusion that is open to inference. This series is based on two-value truth tables that Olney constructs using shapes. By building logical statements of visual forms, her tables show how the truth or falsity of a visual expression ultimately depends on the truth or falsity of its components. If the premise of abstract forms is true, then the painting must also be considered valid. Each painting considers the visual values and draws a conclusion about the realm in which they exist.

Installation & Objects

In this body of work, the forms from my painted world enter the physical realm. Painting becomes an expanded field where I explore the relationship between flat and non-flat, object and illusion and the subjectivity of perception.

  • Convergence

    Acrylic paint, CNC and laser cut plywood, Permanent Installation, Facebook Inc., Washington DC, 2018 (image credit: Nancy Daly) The concept of the installation is the play between individuality and collaboration. One view references an interior or an intimate space where people come together, share ideas and innovate. The view on the opposing wall is an infinite, contemplative space -- a place to activate the imagination and recharge as an individual. The trajectory lines of the floor promote connectivity between the areas.
  • Convergence (right side)

    Acrylic paint, laser and cnc cut plywood, Permanent Installation, Facebook Inc., Washington DC, 2018 (image credit: Nancy Daly)
  • Convergence (left side)

    Acrylic paint, laser and cnc cut plywood, Permanent Installation, Facebook Inc., Washington DC, 2018 (image credit: Nancy Daly)
  • Convergence (Detail #1)

    Acrylic paint, laser and cnc cut plywood, Permanent Installation, Facebook Inc., Washington DC, 2018 (image credit: Nancy Daly)
  • Convergence (Detail #2)

    Acrylic paint, laser and cnc cut plywood, Permanent Installation, Facebook Inc., Washington DC, 2018 (image credit: Nancy Daly)
  • Dialogue II

    Installation, Acrylic paint and laser cut plywood, Decker Gallery, MICA, 2018

Peripheral Logic

This work explores the fuzzy reality at play in the outlying regions of the periphery. Things in the fringes of our field of vision are flickers of shape and movement. These fleeting glimpses and shadows are incorporated into the narrative of our surroundings. This peripheral information taps into both interpretation and imagination -- what we experience and what we believe we see.

Artifacts

This series references painting structures from art history flattened into contemporary space. The imagery is distilled from the daily barrage of visual material, popular iconography, art history, and plays on language. Initial ideas are transformed through sketches and digital media. Artifacts, both historical and digital, build a visual vocabulary of forms that travel into the uncertainty of perception in search of truth.

Eden & Beyond

The paintings in this project explore gesture as a mark and as time embedded in the surface. Through masking, layers are obscured and later revealed to form a non-linear progression. The physical intertwining of past and present creates an emotional and contemplative space.

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Janet's Curated Collection

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