KÖNIG GALERIE is pleased to present SACRED CONTRACT, the first solo exhibition with works by Loie Hollowell, in the NAVE of St. Agnes.
Loie Hollowell, 38, has been described as a modern-day Georgia O'Keeffe but with a dash of humour and a strong dose of female self-assertion. Originally from California, Hollowell has been living in New York City for many years. Here, she has continuously worked to redefine a representation of the human shape and experience. Her vibrantly coloured canvases set their focus on the core subjects of life: relationships, sexuality and femininity. While melding sculpture and painting through a combination of symmetrical forms and sculpted applications, Hollowell's paintings offer abstractions of the human body that speak of extreme vitality. In her most recent work, the artist set out to focus on a quintessentially female experience: giving birth.
In SACRED CONTRACT, Hollowell's art becomes a journey into the epicentre of pain. On nine large-scale canvases, called Split orbs, the artist translates the physical experience of labour into colour and form. As you wander about the space, the canvases should alternate: light and dark—contraction and relaxation. The artwork approaches a colour-phenomenological metaphor for the birth process. 'I see the distances between the canvases as a kind of meditation. You step from one to the other, from one contraction to the next,' says the artist. The soft, smooth and velvety textures of the canvases find a counterpart in the rough spots which repeatedly appear at the core of the paintings. Here Hollowell also picks up on the texture of the surroundings, the béton brut with which the former church of St. Agnes of the KÖNIG GALERIE was built in the post-war years.
In keeping with Walter Benjamin's theory of art, something of an aura can be witnessed in the work of Loie Hollowell. Her works capture what cannot be described in language. They have something otherworldly, transcendent; they take us to a cosmos of universal knowledge and deep introspection. There's the quiet echo of those traumatic hours in the exhibition space, the echoes of the origins of life and the beauty therein.
Loie Hollowell (b. 1983 in Woodland, CA, US) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY (US). She earned a BFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA (US) in 2005, and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (US) in 2012. Hollowell was the recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Award a residency at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and the Queens Art Fund Grant from the Queens Council on the Arts. Selected collections include: Arts Council England, London (UK); Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR (US); David Roberts Art Foundation, London (UK); the EKARD collection; and Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (CH).
Press release courtesy KÖNIG GALERIE.