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Lick Lick in Blue, Green and Yellow

Hollowell, L.
Lick Lick in Blue, Green and Yellow
signed, partially titled and dated '2015 Loie Hollowell "Lick-Lick"' (on the overlap); signed again, partially titled again and dated again 'Loie Hollowell 2015 "lick-lick" (Blue & green)' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas mounted on panel
48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm.)
Painted in 2015.
Salon 94, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2016

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Julian Ehrlich
Julian Ehrlich Associate Vice President, Specialist, Head of Post-War to Present Sale

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Lot Essay

Loie Hollowell’s playful and sensual meditations on the human body have captivated viewers throughout the past decade. Symbolically charged and rooted in art historical traditions, her compositions adhere to a visual language that is simultaneously deeply personal and universal. She explores themes of sexuality and fertility, recently gaining widespread attention for her work inspired by her experiences during pregnancy and birth. The present work is from the Lick Lick series, identified by psychedelic silhouettes of the human profile with stuck-out tongues. The present work is visually striking. It is mirrored on a vertical axis like a Rorschach test and rendered in intense hues, giving it a psychological aura that seems to pulse in the corner of the viewer’s eye. In the center is a yellow, almond shape, surrounded by green and blue radiating hues. Hollowell does not shy away from sexuality in her work, with breasts, mouths, and genitalia being omnipresent in her visual lexicon.

Hollowell cites the Neo Tantric art that flourished in India in the 1960s and 70s as her most significant stylistic influence. Connected to the Eastern spiritual tradition of Tantra, Neo Tantric art often involved abstracting the human figure into symbolic shapes borrowed from an ancient iconography. She also assigns sacred and emotional meanings to the colors she uses, with green being the color of union and life. Although her work is spiritually complex, it is also very approachable—inviting viewers to linger in front of the canvas, move around it, and meditate on their own visceral experiences.

According to Hollowell, “…[B]eauty is not just visual, it is also experiential. I would hope that my work, when seen in the flesh, leaves a lasting retinal impression on the viewer.”

Loie Hollowell’s works command your attention, inviting you deeper into her sublime realm. Her gift for eliciting these reactions catapulted her into prominence and has continued to distinguish her as one of the most captivating artists working today.

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