Jeremy Olson: This Time Of Monsters

Jeremy Olson - language of flowers 2022
language of flowers 2022

Jeremy Olson: This Time Of Monsters
October 19 2022 – 19 November 2022
Unit London
3 Hanover Square

Unit London is excited to present this time of monsters, a solo show from Brooklyn-based artist Jeremy Olson, opening October 19, 2022. The exhibition debuts a body of work encompassing large-scale painting, 3D-printed sculpture, and mixed media pieces placing his signature cast of otherworldly, sci-fi-influenced creatures into futuristic scenes. Referencing a vaguely 60’s Modernist aesthetic, Olson’s highly rendered scenes are nostalgic for a future that no longer exists in the collective imagination.

Jeremy Olson - language of flowers 2022
Language of flowers 2022

this time of monsters draws its title from Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci’s reflections on an ancient Roman term, interregnum, which signifies a period of long transition between historical stages. Olson’s world and its anthropomorphic monsters live on the precipice of imminent catastrophe. However, despite the apocalyptic scenes of disaster and collapse around them, the artist injects some humor.

Jeremy Olson the future of work 2022 17x9.5x8
The future of work 2022 17×9.5×8

These monsters are introspective, confused, and very human-like. They check their cellphones, lounge around reading, play, party, and entertain. The largest of the paintings, index of refractions, depicts a monster absorbed in its digital device, leaning against a much larger dragon-like creature blissfully sleeping. A kind of generator pumps thick blue plumes of smoke into the air, enveloping the forest in fog and it’s unclear whether this is an industrial pollutant or an environmental salve. The title references the behavior of light when passing through different substances, a reflection in a pond, the disappearance of the forest into fog, and the infinite mirroring loop of the internet.

Jeremy Olson: and never went outside again 2022 36x30
and never went outside again 2022 36×30

Olson’s intricately detailed, 3D-printed sculptures bring his cast of characters closer to reality, a gigantic lizard-like character with a child, reclines in a decimated sports arena examining the carriage of a destroyed monorail. Olson plays with perspective, exploring the subjectivity of the monster, reconciling it with the human, and connecting its observations and its maternal relationship.

Smaller sculptures playfully conflate the monstrous and the human, a rollercoaster sprouts from a reptilian foot and a children’s slide grows from a clawed hand. Olson’s creatures emerge from a lifelong love of cinema, science fiction, and horror. Scary movies, from Godzilla films to David Cronenberg’s body horror, explored the monster’s meaning as metaphorical, socio-political, or psychoanalytical. Here, the notion of a monster is an emblem of upheaval and immense change, yet the artist’s references to leisure and play convey a hint at rebirth and building.

©2022 Jeremy Olson, Unit London