LAUREN OLITSKI is a painter, sculptor and writer, living and working in Southern Vermont.
She is known for her vigorous, often thickly impastoed, large-scale acrylic paintings. Working representationally as well as in an abstract format, Lauren has had numerous exhibitions in the US and Canada, including fifteen solo exhibitions.
As a student at the University of New Hampshire Lauren studied with the poet, Charles Simic and the writer, Russell Banks, and then poets Thomas Lux, Jane Cooper, Jean Valentine and Grace Paley at Sarah Lawrence College. She attended the Masters Program in Writing at City College in New York City studying with the poet, William Mathews and writers, Mark Mirsky and Elizabeth Hardwick, and is a recipient of Goodman Fellowship for Poetry.
Lauren has continued to write throughout her career while moving her primary focus to painting and eventually sculpture. Her work is influenced by having grown up surrounded by art of the great formalists and postwar abstract expressionists of the 1950s and 1960s; her father, Jules Olitski, as well as Kenneth Noland, Larry Poons, Anthony Caro, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Milton Avery, Hans Hofmann, David Smith, to name a few. As a child she came in contact with many of these artists, as well as the art critics, Clement Greenberg, Michael Freed and Jack Flam. Initially she shied away from pure abstraction, working from the figure and landscape. Eventually she created a series of purely abstract paintings and discovered an unanticipated ease with the format. More recently she has added three dimensional work, in ceramic and steel, to her repertoire.
Drawn to the art of El Greco, Francisco Goya, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse, Lauren's work is informed by the use of structure, edge, and light she observes in the masters. Paul Cézanne said, “…one does not put oneself in place of the past, one only adds a new link.” Through the use of modern day materials—acrylic paints and mediums that allow for a variety of surfaces, and interference and iridescent pigments, often incorporating fabric and other collage elements in her paintings, as well as her investigation of color, surface and shape in her most recent body of powder-coated steel sculptures, she adds her "link" to the timeless conversation between artist and viewer.