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June 12, 2021

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Artistic view of female form before and after birth

The first solo exhibition of American artist Loie Hollowell in China, “Loie Hollowell: Recalibrate,” is underway at the Long Museum (West Bund) through July 11.

Created over the last two years, the canvases are part of the “Plumb Line” series, which address the artist’s embodiment of pregnancy and render the transfiguration of the female body in stages of prenatal and postpartum existence.

“Beauty for me is not just visual, it is also experiential,” says Hollowell.

“I want the viewers who come to know not necessarily what I was trying to tell them about, say, my birth experience, but absorb an impression of brightness or richness or radiance that has something to do with their relationship to their own body.”

Born in Woodland, California, in 1983, Hollowell received a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.

As her canvases evolved into figurative paintings, taking the female body as her subject, and then shifted toward abstraction, she began to break up and divide the figure within her frame.

She developed a pared-down visual language characterized by vibrant hues, varied textures, the repetition of geometric forms and compositional symmetry.

Her use of symmetry — often anchoring her compositions in a central singular axis — relates her paintings to her own body as the natural world.

Hollowell’s paintings are also a delight of light and shadow.

In some paintings, such as the “Red Hole” in 2019, there is a throbbing sphere encircles the figure. A white light glistens from its outermost edges while graduations of color deepen inward to the depths and shaded darkness of the center apex.

This entry point is where night meets day, a collision of worlds from one gateway to the next.

Employing egg-shaped forms, the artist aims to engage with meditations of fertility and fecundity in the postpartum period.

Dates: Through July 11 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5:30pm

Venue: Long Museum West Bund

Address: 3398 Longteng Ave


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