Occupied – Project Space
September 6 – October 18, 2008
Reception for the Artists: Saturday, December 15, 6 – 9 pm


Los Angeles, CA—Sam Lee Gallery is pleased to present a project exhibition entitled Occupied by Los Angeles-based artist John McGuire Olsen. The show opens September 6 and closes October 18, 2008; the gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, September 6, 6 – 9 p.m.


Occupied, which marks the artist’s first solo exhibition at Sam Lee Gallery, features eleven 5-by-5 inch and three 10-by-10 inch oil on panel paintings that depict interiors taken directly from bedding catalogs. More than a practice in transcription, the meticulously executed series presents how contrived portrayals of character and warmth result in spaces that instead feel manufactured and cold. The bedroom interiors are fantastical in décor: pillows are majestically overstuffed and comforters tumble over luxuriously in strategic disarray. The interiors’ mass-produced qualities juxtaposed with their orchestrated uniqueness render them impersonal and inaccessible.


The show’s title, Occupied, is born from the notion of people living in these depicted interiors. Carefully arranged to look lived-in, the rooms ironically lack any sense of humanism. While each room is themed to fit an individual’s tastes, the trends are excessively synchronized and hyper-complementary. Each bedroom interior should reflect its inhabitant; however, its unadulterated perfection creates an inhospitable atmosphere.


Olsen currently works and lives in Los Angeles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from UC Santa Cruz (2003). His work has been shown in New York, Miami and also Santa Cruz.


Digital images are available for press purposes. Please email ( for reproduction requests.


Sam Lee Gallery is located at 990 North Hill Street #190, Los Angeles, CA  90012, Phone 323-227-0275, Facsimile 323-227-0256. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 6 pm and by appointment. For detailed information, please visit the gallery’s website,