GRIMM is proud to present One opening leads to another by Loie Hollowell (b. 1983, Woodland, CA, US). The exhibition will open during Amsterdam Art Weekend 2019 and marks Hollowell’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Hollowell will present a group of new paintings which reference the body as a landscape and the act of giving birth.
Energy, the vital property that sustains life and growth through ceaseless transformations, takes shape in Loie Hollowell’s new series of works. Hollowell’s paintings radiate with energy stemming from an ongoing stream of consciousness, activating the tension between the surface of her canvases and the materiality of the works as art-objects. These paintings combine concave and convex shapes which allude to an inner energy with qualities that are both calm and soothing, as well as urging, pulsing, itching, pushing and painful. The act of breathing- depicted by pulsing lines- resonates as a primordial chorus in each painting, illustrating the various stages of the birthing process.
In Meeting Place the sense of waiting, of balancing the scales of emotion becomes palpable, while in Horizon on my pit of hell the specific moment of giving birth, of pushing a baby into the world with all the emotional and psychical intensity this demands is defined by clear, stark lines of pain and tenderness. The radiant One opening leads to another illustrates life-giving energy as it is passed on- through ones’ body into another, affirmative life-creating energy, illustrated by an aura in bands of color. Sitting in a Landscape illustrates Loie’s approach to the body-as-landscape, where a horizon line anchors the composition, and the body is depicted going into labor with a series of concentric lines and circles. The exhibition concludes with Squeezed Cheeks which can be read as a post-partum reflection.
Loie Hollowell’s focus on the body in context creates a new visual language that captures the overarching themes of the intimate relationship between the body, the self, sex, time and space. The paintings are built-up as wall reliefs from which an internal logic and subject matter gradually unfold. Hollowell’s process entails building up the surfaces of her works to create enchanting illusions which challenge any single or realistic light source. Her use of color gradients creates the illusion of an internal luminosity and makes these complex paintings surge with a slow-burning sensuality, or intimacy at its most intense.
Infusing elements of ancient sacred iconography (an almond- shaped mandala represents a vagina, and the lingam shape, an abstracted penis), Hollowell’s painterly language conveys the physicality and otherworldliness of the primal sexual act. Within the work a number of narratives are approached with intelligence and humor, as well as a total sense of liberation concerning sexuality and the human form.