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

Opening on January 24, 2020, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) is pleased to present a solo exhibition of a handful of 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 scale, public memory, and their relation to issues of inclusivity and acceptance. The exhibition builds on several public projects and commissions created by the artist in recent years and continues to revise, rework, and expand on key works. Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves is organized by Anthony Elms, Daniel and Brett Sundheim Chief Curator, and will be on view through May 10, 2020.

“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.”

Works in this exhibition bring together two themes the artist has focused on in recent years: larger-than-life scale and the minute, modest gesture. A new obelisk sculpture, a fully-functioning carousel for one rider, a large 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, which evokes memories of laundry sites Olivier visited in Trinidad and carries overtones of refugee structures and traces of bodies, are among the works selected to be reimagined and constructed on-site at ICA.