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08. Daniel Olson (Montreal, QC) - The Mad Hatter

5th floor corridor  

Digital inkjet print on banner paper, 2012, 91 x 50 in

9305 web 2.jpgAnother in a series of self-portraits taking cues from a variety of sources, both personal and historical. In this case the image is loosely inspired by: Max Ernst’s 1920 collage The Hat Makes the Man; Edward Steichen’s 1925 studio portrait of Charles Chaplin; and a line drawing illustration of a ‘baby’ spot light found in Academy Award winning cinematographer John Alton’s 1949 book Painting With Light.

Born in California to Canadian parents in 1955, Montreal-based artist Daniel Olson completed degrees in mathematics and architecture before obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (Halifax) and a Master of Fine Arts in 1995 from York University (Toronto). Olson’s eclectic body of work – which includes sculpture, multiples, installation, photography, performance, audio, video and artist’s books – consists primarily of exploratory reactions to and manipulations of elements culled from a variety of sources: personal history, popular culture and daily life; the histories and technologies of art, film, photography and music; the fields of literature, philosophy, mathematics and language(s). He claims to be “guided by a desire to create simple works which suggest complex possibilities contained within ordinary materials or events.”

Olson has exhibited widely, including shows at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (Québec), Galerie Optica (Montréal), and the Canadian Cultural Centre (Paris). His works is documented in several catalogues, including Beside Myself/Hors de moi (St-Hyacinthe, 2010), Playtime (Regina, 2006), Twenty Minutes’ Sleep (Vancouver, 2005), Silence and Other Conditions (Kingston, 2005), Vicious Circle (Chatham/Medicine Hat/Brandon, 2003), and Small World Cambridge/Lethbridge/Sackville, 2000). Olson has published numerous artist’s books and multiples, most of which have been available at Art Metropole (Toronto), who also published his books The Outline of History (2004) and Sixty-Nine (69) (2005). In 2009 he was awarded the Prix Louis-Comtois, and also received a Canada Council Long-Term Grant.