Loie Hollowell - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Tuesday, November 15, 2022 | Phillips

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  • In Loie Hollowell’s Lick, Lick in Purple, maroon-yellow, 2016-2019, undulating forms in warm purple, pale yellow, and deep blue radiate out from a central, black ridge of foam. The work surprises the viewer with its physical depth, built out of the artist’s signature use of carving foam to model planes of color just above the surface of the canvas. Drawing on the transcendent yet deeply embodied practices of female artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Judy Chicago, and Agnes Pelton, Hollowell’s Lick, Lick in Purple, maroon-yellow is a celebration of feminine sensuality in abstracted terms.

     

    Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Iris, 1926. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Iris, 1926. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    Hollowell’s unique, geometric aesthetic develops out of bright pastel drawings on paper, transformed at scale as subtle, curving foam shapes layered on top of canvas, creating work that lies somewhere between painting and relief sculpture. She binds the canvas and foam layers together with coats of gel medium mixed with sawdust, to create a unified, seamless surface.i The final step is the painting itself, applied in gradients of vivid colors that accentuate the curved surface she has made.

     

    [left] Judy Chicago, Georgia O'Keeffe Place Setting, 1974-1979. Brooklyn Museum of Art. Image: © Donald Woodman. Courtesy of Judith Chicago / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2022 Judy Chicago / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York [right] Judy Chicago, Through the Flower 2, 1973. Image: © Donald Woodman. Courtesy of Judith Chicago / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2022 Judy Chicago / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    [left] Judy Chicago, Georgia O'Keeffe Place Setting, 1974-1979, Brooklyn Museum of Art. Image: © Donald Woodman. Courtesy of Judith Chicago / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2022 Judy Chicago / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    [right] Judy Chicago, Through the Flower 2, 1973. Image: © Donald Woodman. Courtesy of Judith Chicago / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2022 Judy Chicago / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    From a distance, the carved and painted surface of Lick, Lick in Purple, maroon-yellow seems ethereally smooth and unmarked, but close-looking brings forth a stucco-like surface on the raised yellow arches, and a delightful texture of crescent moon-shaped sponge prints in the edges of each gradient. The sponged texture in particular reminds the viewer of stretch marks on the skin, or the chlorophyll veins of flower petals, summoning up the combined imagery of human anatomy and natural forms of fellow female abstractionists such as O’Keeffe and Chicago.

     

    Hollowell’s use of symmetry visually organizes the sensual, autobiographical inspiration behind her compositions, providing an abstracted ground from which a multitude of associations then radiate out. Lick, Lick in Purple, maroon-yellow, for instance, recalls landscape, as the composition reflects itself across the blue-purple horizon line of the composition. And in the same breath, it is a rich and intimate close up of abstracted female anatomy, with folding lips of skin, mirrored mouths, not-quite-kissing, maroon and mauve spreading outward past the edges of the canvas. The innuendo of the title guides our reading, inviting the viewer to stick out their tongue, and lick, lick the raised black ridge in the very center of the work.

    "My work is an expression of my core sensuality. I’m a body, experiencing desire, experiencing pleasure. It is sensual and needy and dirty and expressive."
    —Loie Hollowell

    Agnes Pelton, Lost Music II, 1950s. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
    Agnes Pelton, Lost Music II, 1950s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Image: 2022 Museum Associates / LACMA. Licensed by Art Resource, NY

    Diana Nawi interprets this abundance of visual cues, of “landscape, horizon, outer space, anatomy, cosmos, microscopic entities, topography, architecture, and organs,” all coalesced in one image, not as a point of confusion, but rather, as a sign of the “inherent interconnectedness” of all things.ii This interconnectedness lends itself to the abstract simplification of forms in Lick, Lick in Purple, maroon-yellow, which can then be expanded out again into infinite meanings. It’s an expansion and contraction, fiercely vulnerable and universally understood, an undulation of emotion, in abstract terms. “I’m experiencing pleasure and pain that anyone can experience,” Hollowell says, “and that’s what I’m putting into the work.”iii

     


    i Diana Nawi, Loie Hollowell: Dominant/Recessive, exh. cat., Pace Gallery, London, 2018, p. 7.
    ii Ibid., 5.
    iii Loie Hollowell, quoted in “Loie Hollowell’s Transcendent Bodies,” Art21, April 14, 2021, video, online.

    • Provenance

      Pace Gallery, New York
      Private Collection
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

Ο ◆11

Lick, Lick in Purple, maroon-yellow

signed, titled and dated "Loie Hollowell "Lick Lick in Purple, maroon-yellow" Loie Hollowell "Lick Lick in Purple, maroon-yellow" 2016-2019" on the reverse
oil, acrylic and high-density foam on linen mounted on panel
48 x 36 x 2 1/4 in. (121.9 x 91.4 x 5.7 cm)
Painted in 2016-2019.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$1,000,000 - 1,500,000 

Sold for $1,361,000

Contact Specialist

Amanda Lo Iacono
Global Managing Director and Specialist, Head of Evening Sale, New York
+1 212 940 1278
[email protected]

Carolyn Mayer
Associate Specialist, Associate Head of Evening Sale, New York
+1 212 940 1206
[email protected]

 

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 15 November 2022