Laura Olear: False Color
Victoria Martin: Incantations to the Viscera
Concurrent exhibitions of paintings by Laura Olear and Victoria Martin will be on display at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago from February 6, 2004 to April 23, 2004. A reception for the artists that is open and free to the public will take place on Friday, February 6, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. These two contemporary artists produce striking works that explore health through its various roles in culture and history.
In her exhibition titled “False Color,” Laura Olear presents a series of oil paintings, derived from electron micrographs of viruses and bacteria, designed to confront the viewer with the cultural obsession and sensationalism surrounding health and disease. Olear suggests that “We live in an age of profound advances in health and medicine, yet there has never been a wider gap between people’s objective health and their perceptions of it.”
Olear is a Chicago area artist who has exhibited in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Savannah. She received a BFA for painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Victoria Martin’s “Incantations to the Viscera” is comprised of five 6x9 ft oil paintings depicting large scale images of various internal organs, surrounded by spiritual text. These works illustrate the transcendence of cultural and chronological barriers concerning mankind’s regard for the body as temple. Martin explains that “The organs are pictured as radiant icons, while the ancient religious texts from Buddhist, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew, Hindu and Sumerian-Babylonian sources could inspire reverence and awe for these ‘Inner Jewels’ that support our life.”
Martin has received a BA in Art Education and an MFA in Visual Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to exhibiting work at various galleries and institutions, Martin has also been featured on the PBS arts program “Ben Around Town.”
These exhibitions are the latest in the Museum’s “Anatomy in the Gallery” series, which highlights artists who work in medically related themes. “The Anatomy in the Gallery program makes it possible for the museum to present contemporary art related to the museum mission, within the context of the Museum’s exceptional collection of paintings, drawings and sculpture,” said curator Leonard Kliwinski. “We hope the artists’ very personal work will inspire and ultimately educate visitors about survival and the creative process.”
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.