TAP Lobby Art Gallery welcomes
Now through February
Rolf Olson was born in Denver, Colorado in 1950; he subsequently lived in San Francisco, California and Tacoma, Washington before moving to Appleton, Wisconsin in 1957. Olson grew up in Appleton and graduated from Appleton East High School in 1968 after living a year abroad in Holland as a freshman. He attended Colorado College and graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1974. Those years included another year and a half working and traveling over much of Western Europe. After graduating he apprenticed to a classic wooden boat builder in Neshkoro, Wisconsin for 5 years. Olsen has been a craftsman in wood and metal for 25 years, working as a boat builder and joiner, designing and building doors, cabinets, furniture and functional objects in wood and metal. He have always enjoyed clean, simple, and elegant design. His photographs reflect this aesthetic. Olsen is currently trying out semi-retirement in Sturgeon Bay and has been living in Door County, WI for the past 30 years.
I call this collection of photographs “Elements” because I have consciously chosen to focus on the elements or details of a landscape, to extract and isolate these aspects of a scene to see what sort of emotion or response I can elicit. They are quite ordinary objects “seen” in a different manner. Some may evoke pleasure and wonder while others may be more surprising and ominous. Most of the time we scan a scene without taking time to examine the singular details often lost in the overall picture. I am seeking a sense of distance yet intimacy in the way these objects declare themselves, how they wear the light of the moment, the patina of time or the whim of weather. Almost all of the pictures have been taken in Door County with minimal cropping or adjustments. I try to capture what I see and what I want in that instant.
I had the honor of sharing an exhibition with Margaret Lockwood 4 years ago at Woodwalk Gallery. We paired my black and white photographs with her soft earthy woods, water, and clouds in an exhibit and a book called “Suggestions of a Correspondence”. Several of the framed and matted photos are from that show.