This article was originally published in Arts + Culture Texas for their January 2013 issue and can be found here.
Mie Olise, Loading House, 2012.
Acrylic and water from Gowanus Canal.
Courtesy of the artist and Barbara Davis Gallery.
Thin washes and cakey impasto meet to build colossal forms. Shanties and old factories stretch and march through fog. Derelict ships and canoes spot the shore with color. This is the world of Danish artist Mie Olise’s Crystal Bites of Dust at Barbara Davis Gallery.
Olise’s subject matter is the architecture and abandoned boats along Brooklyn, New York’s Gowanus Canal, a run-down industrial waterway that was in its heyday from around World War I through the 1950s. Now just a shadow of what it once was, the neglected buildings stand as rotting testaments to industrialism. The subject matter resonates with Olise’s background; she grew up around shipbuilders and studied architecture.