106 Green is proud to present the first solo exhibition by New York artist Loie Hollowell. The show will consist of a group of oil on linen paintings, all completed in 2015. The opening reception on Saturday, November 7th from 6-8pm. Gallery hours are on Sundays from 12-5pm.
Hollowell’s paintings play with archetypal images of the body and graphic abstract painting languages. They cleverly allude to sexual energies and painterly ecstasies, that are at once visual, physical, and spiritual. Bodily forms are reduced to essential and meditative visual elements. She evokes an energy that emanates from the body and the mind with a finely tuned use of light, color, and pattern. The paintings vibrate, and are monumental even at a modest scale.
Over the past several years, Hollowell has developed a lexicon of symbols that explore issues of the body, particularly the female body, through an abstracted and potentially more universal lens. These references are both earnest and humorous.
From the artist:
Mandorla, meaning ‘almond’ in Italian, has an historical reference in Catholic imagery. In the form of glowing yellow light it is found in scenes depicting the assumption of the Virgin Mary or while she sits holding baby Jesus surrounded by adoring Magi. A great example of this can be seen in the Fuentidueña Chapel at the Cloisters. For me, the mandorla in the form of an elegantly sharpened oval represents the vagina.
Similarly, the ogee, which resembles a letter S along with its reflection is sometimes referenced in the paintings. The shape is formed by a union of convex and concave lines.
In architecture ogees are often found in the archways of European Gothic and Islamic buildings. As with the mandorla, I love the ogee’s soft curves ending in a decisive point. In my paintings the ogee has come to represent the breast. It's tip is the nipple, always directed towards or supporting a main element in the painting.
Hollowell’s recent work has been influenced by the graphic humor of the Chicago Imagists, as well as the 1930’s Transcendental Painting Group, whose members painted abstract visionary landscapes inspired by the New Mexican desert that surrounded them. Other American visionaries like Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, and Charles Burchfield are obvious predecessors. Like many of these artists, Hollowell aims to create landscapes of the mind and body, using an abstract, symbolic language that evokes a sense of the spiritual and sensual.
Loie Hollowell grew up in Northern California and received a BFA from UC Santa Barbara in 2005. She moved to NYC in 2007 and then attended VCU in Richmond, where she received an MFA in 2012. She has lived and worked in New York since that time.