Patricia Olynyk’s work examines the ways in which culture and institutional structures shape our knowledge and understanding of history, science and the natural world. Appropriating medical imaging technologies and methods of collecting, documenting, and exhibiting scientific artifacts, her work addresses how interpretation fluctuates between fact and speculation. Her installations, sculpture, photography and performances operate at the intersections between sensing and knowing, and order and affect.
Olynyk is the former Chair of the Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF) and both director of the Graduate School of Art and Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis. She has also taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she became the first non-scientist appointed to their Life Sciences Institute. She received her MFA degree with Distinction from the California College of the Arts and later spent four years as a Monbusho Scholar and also Tokyu Foundation Research Scholar in Japan. Her work has been exhibited internationally at: the Brooklyn Museum; the Museo del Corso, Rome; the Saitama Modern Art Museum, Japan; the Universität der Künste, Berlin; and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C