Thick oil paintings, over acrylic paintings creates a simple yet confusing hesitation in Michael Ottersen's geometric abstractions. Their multiple contradictions stem from how they seem hell-bent upon producing the physical appearance of object-ness while completely content with just being an illusion. Shapes attempt to produce a discoverable point of reference, but it is through memory and reflection that steers the task to completion. The bold and slightly--sometimes very--off color palette combined with the cake icing brushwork makes his paintings seem familiar and fun, however there is always the suspicion that what is unseen is somehow more important.
Ottersen has shown often in New York City, most recently at Feature Inc. Locally his work has been seen at Bellevue Art Museum, Gallery 4Culture and Soil Gallery, Seattle.
Gage Academy of Art acknowledges the Coast Salish Peoples as the original inhabitants of this area and connecting waterways. We understand the land that Gage occupies is unceded territory and that today many Indigenous peoples live here and without their stewardship, we would not have access to this space. We honor the Coast Salish Peoples’ sovereignty, rights to self-determination, culture and ways of life. Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have called this territory their sacred land. We commit to learning, educating others and repairing the legacy of historically harmful relationships between non-Native and Native peoples in King County. In doing so, we will be honest, and recognize the experiences of Native peoples to include genocide, forced relocation, forced assimilation, and land theft. We also acknowledge Native peoples are survivors, present in today’s world, thriving. We encourage everyone here today to ask themselves: what can I do to support Indigenous communities?
In an effort to be transparent, Gage is contemplating this call to action and re-working how to best support Indigenous communities.