This exhibition is Loie Hollowell’s first museum survey and first museum presentation on the East Coast. It will include paintings and works on paper made over a decade, tracking the development of her visual language; a lexicon that bridges abstraction with figuration, autobiography with art history, and biology with mysticism. The works on view trace the physical changes Hollowell endured after birthing two children, abstracting the physical and emotional variations of each phase on her own body. It will also debut a new body of work, including large-scale pastel drawings and dimensional paintings, as well as never before exhibited works on paper.
The sensuous abstractions of Loie Hollowell survey the body as a resplendent landscape. Orbiting a century of pioneering women abstractionists, Hilma af Klint, Agnes Pelton, Georgia O’Keeffe, Eva Hesse, Senga Nengudi, and Judy Chicago, Hollowell also cites Neo-Tantric painters like Mahirwan Mamtani, G.R. Santosh, and Biren De as important influences. Her luminous compositions are built with geometric forms, evocative of bellies, breasts, vulva, and buttocks that map her changing body from conception to pregnancy to motherhood. Hollowell’s process always begins with pastel drawings. In the margins she writes notes that inform how to translate her vision into oil paint. She bestows her paintings with dimensional relief to impersonate fleshy bulges and curves. This is achieved by adhering CNC-milled high-density foam or cast-resin appendages to her surfaces. These protrusions, which vary in depth, soften the works’ rigid two-dimensionality, skirting the line between painting and sculpture to confront the viewer with a visceral beauty. She uses a palette that glows, throbs, and blazes, a radiant progression of reds, blues, yellows, oranges, greens, and purples, that flaunt a moody tempo from rapture to pathos. Exploiting a rigorous symmetry, she cleaves and choreographs modular shapes along vertical and horizontal axes to reference the energy pathway of the human spine and the epicenter of the universe, where the heavens connect with the earth.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the artist’s first museum publication featuring images of individual artworks and installation views, as well as an essay by the exhibition’s curator, Amy Smith-Stewart.
Curated by Amy Smith-Stewart, Chief Curator.
Born in 1983 in Woodland, CA, Loie Hollowell lives and works in New York City. She received a BFA at University of California Santa Barbara in 2005 and an MFA in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. Her work has been exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide including Jay Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis; Pace Gallery; Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai; Feuer/Mesler, New York; White Cube Gallery, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; The Flag Art Foundation, New York; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Victoria Miro, London; and Ballroom Marfa, Texas. Her work is in public collections including the Albertina Museum, Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; ICA, Miami; Long Museum, Shanghai; LACMA, LA; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Stedjelijk Museum, Amserdam; and Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland.
Top image: Loie Hollowell, Point of Entry (blue green mounds over yellow sky), 2017. Courtesy of Carolina Zapf & John Josephson