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Karyn Olivier, Michael Conrads |  Eye around matter

April 3rd - May 31th 2014



Eye Around Matter is the culmination of Karyn Olivier’s (Trinidad and Tobago, 1968) and Michael Conrads’ (Germany, 1977) artist in residency here at MARSO. The show is in fact two solo exhibitions placed in conversation in our gallery space.The works on display create constant overlaps between the physical experience of the sculptural object and the retinal perception of painting. Like a Borges story, the exhibition is full of continuities and discontinuities, conceptual games and visual associations, works that seem to appear in a logical narrative but whose connecting thread then runs off and disappears.


On one hand, Karyn Olivier's sculptures are the result of her manipulation of the everyday by dislocating the context of an object or replicating an artifact’s form to absurd degrees. She explores the changing face of intimacy, bouncing between the private and the social. Her work converges nostalgically in cultural and historical observations that refer to her Caribbean origins and her years growing up in New York.


Michael Conrads, on the other hand, explores our spatial perception of two-dimensional imagery. Departing from the sobriety of the German school of abstract painting, he introduces a number of elements that are communicated almost viscerally. In the end, his works reveal a kind of phenomenological map of the aesthetics of Latin American modernism and its persistence in the contemporary urban environment.


Although Olivier’s and Conrads’ works depart from almost opposing creative and conceptual platforms, their works come together in narrative discontinuities and in their invitation to the viewer to play with sight and object, body and image.


Karyn Olivier lives and works in Philadelphia and in New York, her work has been shown in museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA P.S.1, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston among others institutions and biennials in North America, Europe and Asia. She has been the recipient of several awards and residencies, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.


Michael Conrads lives and works in Berlin and is a graduate of the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. His work has been shown in the Hamburg Kunsthalle and Produzentengalerie Galerie, and Galerie Michael Haas of Berlin, among many other institutions and galleries around Europe.



Karyn Olivier

Bike, 2014



Exhibition view

Karyn Olivier. Umbrella yarn swift, 2013 (front).

Michael Conrads. Por la vereda tropical, 2014 (back). 


Karyn Olivier

Winter hung to dry, 2014. 


Michael Conrads

Round and Round, 2014. 


Exhibition view

Karyn Olivier. Tether Ball, 2005 (left). 
Michael Conrads. Rubik City, 2014 (right).


Karyn Olivier

Buoy and line, 2013.

Abandoned lobster buoy and new line. 10.5 ft x 39 inches.


Michael Conrads

My love is my engine and you might be fuel, 2014.