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Biography

born 2000, Boonton, New Jersey 

Education
2022 - Bachelor of Arts, Art History and American Studies - Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Washington DC
2026 (candidate) - Master of Fine Art, Painting - Frank Mohr Institute, Minerva Art Academy, Groningen, Netherlands 

Olivia Niuman (nEYE-min)  is a Dutch-American mixed media abstract artist who lives and works in the Washington D.C. area. She has shown work recently at McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA; Modern Visual Arts, Bethlehem, PA; Rat Gallery, Washington DC; Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI. She earned her B.A. in 2022 from The George Washington University, in Art History and American Studies, with a specialization in mid-century American abstract painting. Her liberal arts research background drives her artistic practice, which takes a hands-on approach to exploring questions posed by aesthetic philosophy. 

 

Niuman is active in the arts community in DC; she writes reviews for East City Art and is the Director of Programming at 52 O Street Studios. For the past two years, she has been a studio assistant for Cianne Fragione, with whom she has been studying tutorials in abstract painting.

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Artist Statement

My practice moves between two ways of thinking: the visual and the verbal. Dynamic color, expressive marks, and varying textures produce an immediate and visceral reaction. Fragments of words engage the viewer in the task of reading, extending their process of looking as they form connections between what is written and what is implied through paint. 

Instead of drawing a strict line between a painting and its context, I include elements that are usually external to the painting through collage: explanatory essays, the title of the work, frame matboards, business cards. My method of working is semiotic and deconstructive; it foregrounds the viewer experience and calls attention to signifiers of meaning that are usually hidden.

While I ask many questions through my work, I do not pretend to have all the answers. I reference other disciplines that also grapple with questions of origins and meaning: philosophy, science, mythology, poetry, and religion. 

Each viewer will come to their own unique conclusions based on how they interpret the specific combination of colors, fragmented words, and texts that I include. I aim to make plain that there is no single “meaning,” and that our beliefs are subjective, personal, and highly contextual. 
 

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