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Nowhere Fast at Olympia

Nowhere Fast at Olympia (street view).

Nowhere Fast brings together new works by Cassidy Early, Jessi L, and Matt Jones. All exhibiting for the first time at Olympia, each artist separately toys with the idea and space of voids, finding supposed absence a fruitful place for imagination. The present voids point to other fields of existence, personal loss, and material erasure, but are grounded in the world that shapes our vision. 

Jessi Li’s sculptures reference the bizarre wonder of NYC’s local beaches, where manufactured and nature-made objects are transformed by the indiscriminate forces of the environment. Li prioritizes chance and risk in their warped linear ceramic structures and cast glass in the form of sea shells. The empty interiors suggest a mysterious, portal-like space offering the possibility for connection with the unknown. Cassidy Early’s paintings depict loss and the desire to reconnect with former selves and departed loved ones. Their multifarious imagery—including notebook paper, dandelions, and the human figure—are tributes to the talismanic power of memory. In his colored pencil drawings, Matt Jones creates palimpsests by building up and then erasing layers of signs, symbols, and images in brilliant saturated color, creating spectral environments populated with creatures that peer out as if from an ordinarily concealed dimension. 

Through their highly visible marks, all three artists imbue negative spaces with a material quality, causing a feeling of presence to warmly manifest. The drawings, paintings, and sculptures on view are physical reminders that nothing, or nowhere, can be a site of movement, innovation, and mystery. 

- Lee Maxey