Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves

Karyn Olivier, Fortified, 2020, installation view, Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves, 2020, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Photo by Constance Mensh. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

Karyn Olivier,  Fortified, 2020, installation view,  Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves, 2020, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Photo by Constance Mensh. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. 


October 29, 2020–May 15, 2021 


Artist List

Karyn Olivier

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Karyn Olivier makes monuments. She investigates scale, public memory, and how they relate to issues of inclusivity and acceptance. The exhibition Everything That’s Alive Moves brings together two themes the artist has focused on in recent years: larger-than-life scale and the minute, modest gesture. An obelisk sculpture, a car made entirely of shoes, and a brick wall built using discarded clothing as mortar are among the works selected to be reimagined and constructed on-site at UB Art Galleries. 

Artist Bio(s)

Karyn Olivier (born 1968, Trinidad and Tobago) received her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art and her BA at Dartmouth College. She has exhibited at the Gwangju and Busan Biennials, Korea; World Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Dakar, Senegal; the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, and Sculpture Center in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Contemporary Art Museum Houston; the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; Drexel University and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita; University of Delaware Museum, Newark, among others. In 2017 Olivier installed a large-scale commissioned work for Philadelphia’s Mural Arts program in historic Vernon Park. In 2015 Olivier created public works for Creative Time in Central Park and NYC’s Percent for Art program. She has received the 2018–19 Rome Prize and has been the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, the William H. Johnson Prize, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, a Creative Capital Foundation grant, and a Harpo Foundation Grant. Olivier is currently an associate professor of sculpture at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Philadelphia. 

Image Gallery

Funding Credits

Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania and is curated by ICA Daniel and Brett Sundheim Chief Curator Anthony Elms.

Support for Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves has been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Edna Wright Andrade Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, the Henry Moore Foundation, and by a Tyler Dean’s Grant from Temple University.

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