Karin Olah new works – Beyond the Sea: Abstracting the Colors of the Coast

Beyond the Sea : Abstracting the Colors of the Coast

Corrigan Gallery presents Karin Olah’s newest paintings: Beyond the Sea:

Abstracting the Colors of the Coast for the month of March at 7 Broad Street in Charleston. The opening reception will be March 2 from 5-8 pm as part of the Charleston Gallery Association artwalk and the show will be up through March 31. This is Olah’s 5th show at the gallery.

This new body of work is inspired by the colors found in nature along the Charleston coast. Sea blues, bright beach life, peaceful pink tones of the marsh, and ocean greens inform these abstract paintings. Olah, who has painted seascapes and landscapes in recent years, is excited about a return to the non-objective: “My new abstracts have a sense of organic lines found in nature and in the sea but with no obvious setting. I can push the layering of brushstrokes and fabric to a place where the material and color are the main focus.” With a collage of textures, Olah infuses a surprise in her multi-media paintings. “I work in a layering process. First, I dye my own colors on cotton, linen, and silk, and then I collage that fabric atop gouache and acrylic paints, pastel, and pencil,” says Olah. The paintings have a depth in color and texture and when up close, you can see the hand-dyed linen, vintage textiles and southern seersucker fabrics.

Karin Olah’s love of fabric runs deep. Growing up in Pennsylvania, she was enamored with quilts. She majored in fiber art at Maryland Institute College of Art then worked in fashion in New York City, dyeing clothes for the runway and costumes for Broadway. When asked why she uses fabric in her paintings, Olah says, “I look for metaphorical connections between fabric and subject matter. I connect how a wave moves with the flutter of silk and a choppy harbor with the warp and weft of a weaving. Fabric contains memories that we can all connect with - even in an abstract way.”

Olah exhibits her art throughout the east. Her work is found in public and private collections and has been featured on the cover of Charleston Magazine and on posters for Piccolo Spoleto and Charleston Farmers Market. In 2015, Olah was named the Griffith/Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year.

Corrigan Gallery represents local contemporary artists whose work shows depth and thought. Also represented are artists of the Charleston Renaissance period especially Elizabeth O’Neill Verner. The gallery has been in existence for over 12 years and has 30 years of experience in this art market behind it and more years than will be spoken in growing up with local art.