Chad M. Olsen

chad m. olsen (b. 1983)

Chad Michael Olsen is an artist of abstract landscapes that explore textures and color palettes as a way to communicate emotions. When painting, he often finds himself working to capture the atmospheres of nature and the emotions from being in these places. For him, being in nature is a solitary experience—one he can only truly share with others through his paintings.

Influenced by artists such as Mark Rothko, Robert Ryman, J.M.W. Turner, and the artists of the Hudson River School, Olsen has drawn from minimalism and the sublime as a way of communicating through landscapes. His paintings are a balance of both the serenity and harshness of nature; areas of dramatic contrast are often tempered with a wash-like textural effect that creates a dream-like atmosphere. The overall effect is marriage of intensity and calm.

His professional art career began in Nebraska in 2010 after studying painting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under Aaron Holz and Keith Jacobshagen, followed by several years of living and working in New York City. While there, he sought solace in the natural world, psychologically returning to the Nebraska grasslands as a form of meditation and as a prevalent theme in his work. In 2017, he returned to Nebraska where he currently resides and maintains a studio in Lincoln.

Olsen’s work demonstrates a range as a romantic, yet abstract, landscape artist and a minimalist. Each painting reveals a new approach to textures, an evolving color palette, or compositional design.

Most recently, Olsen has expanded his use of transparency film materials to include acetate and Dura-Lar. These new materials have allowed Olsen to experiment with scale and composition—the culmination of these efforts reflected in his most recent work and solo exhibitions.

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