Magazine article Artforum International

"3 Women": The Landing

Magazine article Artforum International

"3 Women": The Landing

Article excerpt

"3 Women"

THE LANDING

"3 Women," which takes its title from Robert Altman's 1977 film in which three characters merge into one, reached across divisions of time and circumstance to draw connections between the practices of Lenore Tawney, Loie Hollowed, and Tanya Aguiniga, each of whose work mines the intersections of craft and fine art. Perhaps in a nod to the titular trio, three of the late Lenore Tawney's elegant open-warp woven forms greeted viewers near the gallery's entrance. Recalling hanging obelisks, they were freely suspended above flat, white rectangular plinths that enhanced the works' vertical orientation and sculptural presence. The most striking was the earliest of the three, The Megalithic Doorway, which, although made in 1963, had never before been exhibited. An elongated hanging composed of interwoven black and beige linen spanning some sixteen feet, it gave the simultaneous impression of a labial portal and a totemic column. On the adjacent wall, the viewer encountered five of this artist's delicate but sure-handed red-ink line drawings of variously configured circles from the early 1970s--also exhibited for the first time. Each drawing was neatly matted and encased in a mahogany frame gilded on its front face with gold leaf. While Tawney was celebrated during her lifetime as a daring and inexhaustible pioneer who played a major role in elevating fiber arts, her work has not been shown in Los Angeles since 1968, an oversight this show sought to correct. The Landing's handsome, restrained exhibition showcased the exquisite detail of these works, which reward prolonged scrutiny with seemingly boundless formal revelations.

Tawney's audacious meticulousness resounded with six recent canvases by New York-based painter Loie Hollowell. Serially structured according to what the artist playfully terms stacked lingam (the Sanskrit word for a stylized phallic symbol that translates literally as "pillar of light"), these works feature serpentine geometric forms through which prismatic bands of sponged oil paint merge into one another. Each flattened double helix is anchored by an almond-shaped gateway that is a direct reference to the vagina, as are the montes pubis that protrude and burrow in the spaces between the snaking schema and the framing edge. …

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