Nothing Personal

            NOVEMBER 19 – MARCH 25, 2023

Howard495 is pleased to present Nothing Personal, a solo exhibition of work by Andrew Olcott. Olcott’s work expands on an autobiographical theme he has been exploring in his art for many years. Utilizing images in lieu of words, synonomous with the way writers use prose to record their own storied histories, he translates fragments from significant moments he has lived to the minutiae of the everyday onto his canvas. Olcott’s compulsion to document his life into the two dimensional, conceptual self portraits he creates, allows for a body of work overflowing with individual pleasures that are occasionally witty, at times promiscuous, emphatically honest and decidedly unapologetic.


Andrew Olcott (b. 1964) has resided in New York, Connecticut, Toronto and Montreal, where he attended Concordia University; earning his BFA in 1991. Olcott has lived and worked in Vancouver, B.C. for the past 19 years. Since the outset of his career, he has centered his practice around photographic imagery, text based word play, and sculpture. Gracefully pivoting between conceptual theory, representational imagery and abstraction, Olcott’s primary focus is on rendering photographs into abstract paintings by mimicking the halftone, dotted effect of commercial printing. His intention is to expose a complex, yet simplistic, pictorial relationship between the two mediums of painting and photography in an attempt to initiate a conversation about how we view and interpret imagery. Woven throughout his work is a deep understanding of art history, and an honest, unapologetic exploration into his own past. His source material is a juxtaposition of both personal and found photos selected on the basis of experiences, affinities and direct references to his life. Resonant conversations, appropriated phrases and banal truths told humorously find their way into his text based work, prompting exploration into the perception and the subtleties of language and meaning. Produced methodically, with sensitivity and humour, Olcott’s work is an amalgam of form and autobiographical content. Influenced by the North American and European pop artists, Sigmar Polke and Ed Ruscha and the tenets of conceptualism, the theoretical and formal underpinning of Andrew Olcott’s work today, places him in a timeless dialogue with them.  

Andrew Olcott’s work has been the subject of group and solo exhibitions at several galleries and institutions across Canada, New York and L.A., including the Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec and the Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal, and Important Canadian Art at ZieherSmith, New York.

Andrew Olcott’s works are present in the permanent collections of the Canada Council and the Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec and held in private and corporate collections across Canada, USA and Europe.

                                                                     EXHIBITON INSTALLATION PHOTOGRAHY                                   RACHEL TOPHAM PHOTOGRAPHY