Patricia Olynyk
American, Lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.

Artist's videos on the YouTube BDG Channel Playlist YouTube Playlist

Patricia Olynyk investigates the often-tenuous relationships between human culture, science and the environment. Her work frequently calls upon viewers to expand their awareness of the worlds they inhabit-whether those worlds are their own bodies or the spaces that surround them.

In her latest series, Probe she utilizes a vast inventory of prosthetic devices and medical instruments collected for their historical value in order to comment on the human desire to fetishize and even anthropomorphize objects used to supplement or probe the human body. Through her photographs, Olynyk draws together both the historical and modern desire to control and manipulate our corporeal selves.

In her series, Sensing Terrains, an installation created for the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., she juxtaposes scanning electron micrographs of sensory organs with photographs of Japanese gardens designed to "tickle the senses." Specimens range from human corneas (representing sight) and wild mouse taste buds and olfactory epithelia (representing taste and smell) to guinea pig cochlea (representing sound) and drosophila feet (representing touch). Freed from the confines of scale and context, sensory organs and garden details become hybrid landscapes where viewers can travel through tastebuds and nasal epithelial cells into a scramble of roots, reminiscent of complex vascular systems. Some of the images have been printed in a dramatic chiaroscuro black and white, while others are tinted in electric orange and blood red. In the center of the installation, suspended above the viewer, a large petal-like construction of printed images on silk hangs like a diaphanous, floating sea anemone. The sensory experience is intensified by an interactive and evocative soundscape. Triggered at various locations throughout her installations, sounds drawn from recordings made by Olynyk during two research related trips to Japan evoke blood coursing through the body, a heartbeat, and the trancelike hum of Buddhist chants.

Patricia Olynyk is the Director of the Graduate School of Art and the Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri. She completed her undergraduate work at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Canada and received her MFA with Distinction from the California College of the Arts. In addition, she was a Monbusho Scholar and Tokyu Foundation Research Scholar at Kyoto Seika University in Japan for four years. Her work has been shown internationally in numerous exhibitions including at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C.; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Denise Bibro Gallery in New York; Galleria Grafica in Tokyo; Toby Moss Gallery in Los Angeles; the American University in Cairo; Galerie Michele Broutta in Paris; the Saitama Modern Art Museum in Japan; and at Museo del Corso in Rome.

Copyright 2009 © Bruno David Gallery, Inc., and Patricia Olynyk. All rights reserved. The copyright of all art presented belongs to Bruno David Gallery, Inc. and to the individual artist. No part of these images may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of Bruno David Gallery, Inc. under penalty of the law.

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