Space Between, A Survey of Ten Years is Loie Hollowell’s first museum survey and first museum presentation on the East Coast, which includes paintings and works on paper made over a decade, the debut of new pastel drawings and paintings that incorporate life casts of pregnant breasts and bellies, as well as never before exhibited works on paper from the artist’s archive.
This exhibition tracks the development of Hollowell’s visual language over ten years; a vocabulary that bridges abstraction with figuration, autobiography with art history, and biology with emotion. Orbiting two centuries of pioneering women artists that span generations and movements from Abstraction to Surrealism to 1960s Light and Space art, including Hilma af Klint, Agnes Pelton, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Judy Chicago, Hollowell also cites Neo-Tantric painting as an important influence. Hollowell’s approach always begins with her own body as a guide to appraise seismic issues from sexual freedom to feminism, and reproductive rights and motherhood.
This survey’s focus considers time as material and theme. Hollowell turns the body into a metaphorical clock, documenting extreme intervals of change through dramatic chiaroscuro, saturated color, and charged light. Her labor-intensive process begins with a pastel drawing. She makes notes in the margins indicating how to translate her vision into painting. Her sentient compositions are then built with geometric and biomorphic forms, evocative of bellies, breasts, vulva, and buttocks that abstract the physical and emotional transformations she experienced throughout conception, birth, and postpartum with her two children. Her paintings are endowed with dimensional relief, achieved by adhering CNC-milled high-density foam or cast-resin appendages to the surfaces to impersonate fleshy bulges and curves. These protrusions, which vary in depth, soften the works’ rigid two-dimensionality, and evade the line between painting and sculpture to confront the viewer with visceral beauty. She uses a palette that glows, throbs, and blazes, a luminescent progression of reds, blues, yellows, oranges, greens, pinks, and purples, that vaunt a mercurial tempo from tender to explosive. Applying a rigorous symmetry in reference to the human body, she choreographs the energies and emotions that come from the mental and physical with an emphasis on the birthing body; the epicenter of the universe, where the heavens connect with the earth.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the artist’s first museum monograph, co-published by Gregory R. Miller & Co., featuring an essay by the curator Amy Smith-Stewart, Chief Curator.
Loie Hollowell: Space Between, A Survey of Ten Years is curated by Amy Smith-Stewart, Chief Curator.