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© Loie Hollowell

Essays

Loie Hollowell on Lynda Benglis

At the 2019 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, Pace Gallery will present Echoes, pairing new works by contemporary artists with works by 20th century figures who have impacted the trajectory of art history up the present moment.

On the occasion of this presentation, Loie Hollowell discusses the work of Lynda Benglis. Both artists' work will be on view at our booth in the 2019 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach.

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Lynda Benglis, Calypso, 2017, cast pigmented polyurethane, 41” × 28” × 15” (104.1 cm × 71.1 cm × 38.1 cm) © Lynda Benglis

Loie Hollowell

Lynda Benglis approaches her work through the lens of proprioception. Her body is one expanded tool, flinging and pouring and shaping until a desired state is reached. Her process leaves space for unrestrained moments of chance and spontaneity and allows for a painterly mindset—one not typically permitted for traditional sculptors. She’s said in the past that she sees herself as a painter, the act of drawing done not with pen or pencil, but with cans and buckets. Unapologetically herself, she’s always done it her own way, utilizing her own methodology that defies conventional art-making. With materiality at the forefront of her work, she explores light and form through a variety of material combinations. In Calypso, she’s relied on pigmented polyurethane that shines off the wall it is displayed on. Almond-shaped, textural and protruding, the work glows in its fluorescence, stimulating and sensual.

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Loie Hollowell, Standing in water, 2019, oil, acrylic medium, and high density, foam on linen over panel, 72” × 54” × 3-1/2” (182.9 cm × 137.2 cm × 8.9 cm) © Loie Hollowell

While Benglis translates light through a radiating yellow color in Calypso, my own work observes similar themes of the body and the self through opposing methods. My practice hinges on strategy, mapping out work through precise deliberation and execution. I explore three-dimensional space through optical illusion, abstract form, and textural ambiguity. My paintings endeavor to bridge the gap between the physical and the phenomenological, creating figuration through non-representation. Light plays an important role, but is manifested through painterly gradients and tonal shifts. In Standing in Water, the main “figure,” rooted in the strong diagonal spine, is positioned within ephemeral space. Vibrant oranges pop against more muted, lagoon-ish greens, refracting and confronting the viewer with perceptual shifts in color and shadow.

Both Benglis and I are interested in energy and motion, attempting to understand how it’s perceived and visually understood. We both value rhythm and the way it plays in space, whether physically or psychologically. Although we approach our work very differently, I believe we end up in dialogue with one another, connecting through themes of materiality, the body, and motion.

Essays — Loie Hollowell on Lynda Benglis, Nov 26, 2019