Olivia Steele biopic Olivia Steele<!  Biography  >

BIOGRAPHY

America, b.1985
“My art is not about what I see… Its about what I invite you to see” are the words of contemporary light artist Olivia Steele, who has earned an international reputation for her spirited public neon happenings. Always symbolic and sometimes irreverent, her neon statements suspend time and motion. The interpretable phrases inhabit spaces of contradictory, confrontational or conciliatory meaning. They crystallize the unity between landscape, semiotics and spectacle that engenders myriad avenues for contemplation.

Steele harnesses the power of neon gas to assert symbolic phrasing that allures and provokes. Her expansive career has seen her impart fragments of wisdom and wit all over the globe, from Tulum to Berlin to Mumbai in the form of site-specific land art and indoor installation. Aside from the immediately iconic and often humorous style of Steele’s work, her interventions are pointedly placed in environments that prompt existential musings. Her innate relationship with the sublime and spiritual manifest as explosive imagery where Steele’s opus positions her as one of the most compelling contemporary artists working in her field today.

Proving that “it is the spectator and not life that art really mirrors,” Steele’s oeuvre is a synthesis of contrast and contradiction. She encapsulates the contemporary storyteller and uses the traditional medium of neon to form her striking expressions that address the vortex of modernity. Her neon works are short, punctuated truths that mirror the ingenuity (or malaise) of the digital age. Her glass acumens are often paired with incendiary imagery – explosive atomic bombs and religious symbols – that are evocative stimuli for the viewer. Covert emotions and unforeseen forces also charge Steele’s themes where her studies into consciousness and the divine pervade her transformative pieces.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2018

Attached To Nothing. Connected to Everything. Everything Connects, Solo Show, Maia Contemporary, Mexico City, Mexico
Zona Maco for Maia Contemporary, Mexico City, Mexico

2017

Looking Forward, Group Show, Galleria Torbandena Projects, Trieste, Italy
Steininger Design Showroom, with Velvenoir, Vienna, Austria
The Beauty Project, with Stefan Sagmeister and RETNA, Mexico City, Mexico
Afrika Burn, Design and construction of stage and Neon installation in collaboration with Bridges for Music, Cape Town, South Africa
Urban Intervention, for Zona Maco, Mexico City, Mexico

2016

Miami Beach Edition, Exhibition of works for Art Week, Miami, FL
Scope Art Fair, Group Show, Art Angels Gallery, Miami, FL
Faux Real, Solo Show, Circle Culture, Berlin
What You See Is Seeking You…, Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV
Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness, Group Show, Lights of Soho Gallery, London

2015

Public Display of Affection, Urban Interventions Project, Tulum
The Little House, Collaboration with Moral Turgeman, Burning Man Arts, Black Rock City, NV
You Are Exactly Where You Need To Be, Installation for Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV
Berlin Art Week, Group Show, Cirlcue Culture Gallery, Berlin
Some Place Like Home, Rumney Guggenheim Gallery, New York, NY
Hello Darkness and Viva La Muerte, Day of the Dead, Oaxaca

2014

VIENNAFAIR, Circle Culture Gallery, Vienna
Solo Show, Circle Culture Gallery at Hotel de Rome, Berlin
Nothing is what it seems, Solo Show, Circle Culture Gallery, Hamburg
Atrium for Art Basel Miami, Solo Show, Miami, FL
The Corner, Solo Show, Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin

2013

POTSE 68., Group Show, Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin
Installation for Pret A Diner (PAD), Art Basel, Basel
Collaboration with Stefan Strumbel, Circle Culture Gallery at PAD, Berlin
The Truth Hurts, Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin
Art Karlsruhe, Art Fair, Circle Culture Gallery, Karlsruhe
Ephemeral, Group Show, Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin

2012

Exhibition of Neon Artworks, Solo Show, Circle Culture Gallery at Corner Store, Berlin
Acquired Taste, Solo Show, Circle Culture Gallery at Soho House, West Hollywood, CA
Save The Best For Last, Solo Show, Circle Culture Gallery at PAD, Berlin
In The Mix, Circle Culture Gallery at PAD, Berlin
Gallery Weekend, Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin

2011

The Melting Pot, Ulf Saupe Galerie, Berlin
Up Against The Wall, with Maximillian Weidemann at PAD, Berlin
Welcome to Cashville, Private Collection, Nashville, TN
Culinary Journey, PAD, Berlin
The Tree House, PAD, Frankfurt
The Minotaur, Lazarides Gallery, London