Review: Scott Olson and Jerry Birchfield

Cleveland Museum of Art offers fantastic solo shows on Scott Olson, Jerry Birchfield, at Transformer Station
By Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio - A famous Leonardo da Vinci quote has special relevance to an outstanding pair of solo shows at the Transformer Station on the works of Cleveland artists Jerry Birchfield and Scott Olson, organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art.
In his famous "Treatise on Painting," Leonardo urged artists to seek inspiration in unusual places:

If you look upon an old wall covered with dirt, or the odd appearance of some streaked stones, you may discover several things like landscapes, battles, clouds, uncommon attitudes, humorous faces, draperies, etc. Out of this confused mass of objects, the mind will be furnished with an abundance of designs and subjects perfectly new."

Birchfield and Olson are abstractionists, and as such not interested in translating random stains on walls or stones into battle scenes or drapery. But they are interested in how randomness and chance can produce moments of ravishing beauty.