News Release

Solo Exhibition of Large-Scale Sculptures by Karyn Olivier Explores the Emotional Weight of Monuments this Winter at Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania

October 23, 2019
Philadelphia, PA

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania presents Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves, a solo exhibition of six large-scale sculptures by Philadelphia-based artist Karyn Olivier. Everything That’s Alive Moves offers the rare opportunity to examine the recent trajectories of Olivier’s investigation into memorials and monuments, and their relation to issues of citizenship and individual responsibility. The exhibition, on view January 24 through May 10, 2020, builds on several public projects and commissions created by the artist in recent years and continues to revise, rework, and expand on key works from her past.

“We are thrilled to present the work of local artist Karyn Olivier. Olivier’s ability to connect with the community and people through her work is profound,” said John McInerney, Interim Director at ICA. “She adeptly shifts our experience of the familiar to reveal the malleable and unfixed nature of objects and spaces, enabling us to ponder meaning, honor the past, while creating new possibilities.”

Everything That’s Alive Moves brings together two tactics the artist has focused on in recent years: architectural scale and the minute, modest gesture. A fully-functioning carousel for one rider, a car made entirely of repurposed shoes—gathered for export to poor countries—and a brick wall built using clothing wedged between the bricks as mortar, are among the older works reimagined and constructed on-site at ICA. In looking at these past works, Olivier is thinking more about how large-scale need not be a refutation of, or counter to, a desire to be “human-sized.”