Loie Hollowell

b. 1983
In 2 collections on Artscapy


Loie Hollowell, born in 1983 in Northern California, is an American painter who now resides and creates in New York City. Hollowell is known for her abstract biomorphic paintings that evoke themes of spirituality and sexuality, drawing inspiration from tantric painting traditions. Her work has drawn comparisons to iconic artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, reflecting a deep engagement with the female form and the natural world.

Hollowell completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, earning a BA before obtaining an MFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Artistic Practice
Hollowell’s work, often described as "abstract body landscapes" by critics like Martha Schwendener of the New York Times, navigates the delicate balance between abstraction and figuration. Her paintings are rich explorations of bodily landscapes, rendered through a lens that is both otherworldly and distinctly corporeal. Drawing from personal experiences, her themes often center around sexuality, pregnancy, and birth, making her pieces intensely personal yet universally resonant in their depiction of human vulnerability.

Hollowell is known for using geometric shapes such as mandorlas, ogees, and lingams to construct a unique visual language that is deeply symbolic and rooted in her own experiences. Her compositions typically revolve around a central axis, mirroring the symmetry of the human body and connecting her art to both her personal physicality and broader natural forms.

In terms of scale, Hollowell’s works are intimately tied to the human body, with each piece correlating in size to the specific body part it represents, from the head to the groin. This approach extends to the three-dimensional aspects of her art, where she integrates sculpted forms into her canvases, creating a dynamic interplay of flat and volumetric surfaces. This technique challenges viewers' perceptions and encourages a more interactive form of engagement, as they discern the layers of depth in her work.

Hollowell’s vibrant use of color, varied textures, and geometric symmetry align her with a lineage of American artists including Agnes Pelton and Judy Chicago, and she cites influences from the California Light and Space Movement as well as Neo-Tantric painters like Ghulam Rasool Santosh and Biren De. Her distinctive approach has placed her at the forefront of contemporary art, exploring and expanding the boundaries of painting and sculpture.