reviews

  • View of “Karyn Olivier,” 2020. From left: Fortified, 2017–20; Moving the Obelisk, 2019–20.

    View of “Karyn Olivier,” 2020. From left: Fortified, 2017–20; Moving the Obelisk, 2019–20.

    Karyn Olivier

    Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

    Karyn Olivier’s exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art is introduced by a poignant contestation of the monument’s expected forms and subjects: Attendants at the threshold of the gallery invite viewers to take a simple red carnation and a pearl-topped lapel pin. Olivier’s wall text indicates that she is distributing carnations as a tribute to mothers, conceived in response to multiple historical events. First was the Philadelphian Anna Jarvis’s campaign for a national Mother’s Day in 1905; by 1908, the carnation was associated with the celebration, federally recognized in 1914. Later

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