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About the Author: Chuck Olson speaking on his art says, “The region of Western Pennsylvania has literally formed the background of my development- my birth, my upbringing, my education and my work. As an American painter educated within the last quarter of the 20th century, the powerful example of Abstract Expressionism, which marked the self defining American break with European modernism, pulled me into its energy and provided me with a way of seeing with which to respond to my experience. This restlessness, caused by cultural collision, allows me the potential, I believe, to constantly reflect on how one sees, constructs life, and then proceeds to take it all in. It is in spending time in France that affords me an opportunity to understand the “American” and the “French” is examined within the context of time spent in Western Pennsylvania. There is something of American energy and French mystery that drives me. This Franco American duality is also there in my definition as artist and professor. Some think that it shows and perhaps it shows best within my work.”

Chuck Olson: Visual Histories

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  • Follow Chuck Olson’s search for significance through abstract artistic representation. Each chapter reveals a step of his journey showcasing major artworks of his collection which represent that stage in his discovery. In objects/artifacts, he describes his works as “hybrids of forms taken from the museum, the archaeological dig, the attic, and the flea market.” John Caldwell, curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, describes his landscapes as “about the possibilities of paint itself and the elegant and seductive pla of a painter’s hand and eye.” In the final chapter where Olson transforms maps into significant at forms, his works are described by the statement, “Here in the twenty-first century, the map, is a vehicle of information, revisits its earlier life as an instrument of fancy and imagination. Olson turns that fancy into darker passages, with unexpected colorations, so that his work becomes a geography of the mind, even a form of geomancy.” Travel through the mind of artist Chuck Olson, as he searches to identify through artistic expression the question we all want answers to, “What is important?” Publisher: Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art; First Edition edition (2007).
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