Titled Contractions, the project will be on view in Pace’s booth at West Bund Art & Design 2022.
Hollowell will donate a portion of proceeds from Contractions NFT sales to Midwest Access Coalition and Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, two reproductive justice non-profits in the US.
The artist will make several new paintings based on Contractions NFTs.
New York, NY – Pace Verso, the web3 hub of Pace Gallery, and Art Blocks, the leading platform for generative art, are pleased to detail a new project realized as part of their multifaceted partnership encompassing NFT releases, exhibitions, and community programming. Through this collaboration, Pace Verso x Art Blocks will present Loie Hollowell’s first-ever NFT project, titled Contractions, which will launch on October 28 at 12 p.m. EDT and be available for purchase on artblocks.io.
Hollowell’s work explores bodily landscapes through a language of dynamic, otherworldly abstraction. The artist’s semi-autobiographical paintings, drawings, and now NFTs are forged from her distinctive iconography of geometric and organic forms that represent the human body, its capabilities, and its processes. Through her practice, the artist examines her relationship to her own embodied experiences, and her works center on sex, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and motherhood. Using radiant color, space, light, volume and scale, gradients, and protruding sculptural elements, Hollowell draws viewers into her emotionally and psychologically resonant compositions. The artist’s first solo exhibition at an American museum, Loie Hollowell: Tick Tock Belly Clock, is currently on view at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis through May 8, 2023.
Contractions, the artist’s first NFT project, is based on her Split Orb sculptural paintings, a series of works she began creating following the birth of her second child. In those works, two bifurcated orbs are situated one on top of the other, with the top orb representing the artist’s brain and the lower orb signifying her pregnant belly and cervix. Hollowell’s colorful, textural Split Orb works are a meditation on the visceral experience of vaginal birth.
There will be 11 scenes in the Contractions NFT series: closed orbs signifying the final stage of pregnancy, just before childbirth, and orbs featuring one of ten set degrees of openings at their centers, representing each of the ten centimeters of cervix dilation required to begin the second “pushing” stage of labor. Featuring variations in their hues, saturations, and textures, the orbs reflect, on a conceptual level, the artist’s shifting state of mind and body during childbirth, with each of the colors describing her ranging emotional states.
Contractions comprises a total of 280 unique, generative NFTs, reflecting the average number of days in a full-term pregnancy. The colors of these NFTs are drawn from a wide spectrum, from grayscale—which Hollowell has never previously incorporated in her work—to a vivid neon palette. The expansive possibilities of color in the NFTs situate Hollowell’s abstractions in a new light and have influenced her approach to painting and drawing. As an extension of the project, Hollowell will create several new paintings of specific Contractions NFTs.
With this NFT series, Hollowell aims to make her work accessible to a wide audience. Created amid increasing restrictions on reproductive healthcare and the reversal of Roe v. Wade in the United States, the project speaks to personal and shared experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. Hollowell will donate 25 percent of net proceeds from the Contractions NFT sales to Midwest Access Coalition, a practical abortion fund based in the Midwest of the US, and ARC-Southeast, which provides funding and logistical support to individuals seeking reproductive care, including abortion services, in six states in the American South.
Contractions will be presented on Pace’s booth at West Bund Art & Design in Shanghai from November 10 to 13. Further details about AMA discussions with Hollowell on Pace Verso’s and Art Blocks’s digital channels will be released in the coming weeks.
Contractions is realized by Art Blocks and Pace Verso in conjunction with Digital Practice, an artist-focused web3 creative agency that worked in close concert with Hollowell on project conceptualization, art direction, and development. More information about the project can be found at artblocks.io.
Loie Hollowell (b. 1983, Woodland, California) is recognized for her paintings that evoke bodily landscapes, using geometric shapes to move a figure or its actions into abstraction. Her work explores themes of sexuality, often through allusions to the human form with an emphasis on women’s bodies. An investigation of autobiography became evident in Hollowell’s early work, which explored the use of gradient staining techniques on cotton supports as a metaphor for intimate spaces—meditations on sleep and bodily fluids. These canvases evolved into figurative painting, introducing female nudes as subject matter as well as the use of reflection and mirroring. Her subsequent work exhibited a shift toward abstraction, characterized by radiating silhouettes and a pulsating color palette. With its strong colors, varied textures, and geometrical symmetry, Hollowell’s practice is situated in lineage with the work of the Transcendental Painting Group (1938–41), Georgia O’Keeffe, Gulam Rasool Santosh, and Judy Chicago.
Art Blocks is a company that is in service of bringing the most compelling examples of contemporary generative art to life. Art Blocks unites artists, blockchain technology, and collectors in a destination dedicated to groundbreaking work and remarkable experiences.
Pace Verso is Pace Gallery’s hub for web3 projects, launched in 2021 under the leadership of Pace President and CEO Marc Glimcher. Pace Verso works closely with artists within and beyond the gallery’s program to incubate, develop, and realize their web3 projects, operating an NFT platform on the Ethereum blockchain at www.pacegallery.com/pace-verso. In addition to releasing independent projects, Pace Verso frequently collaborates with leading web3 platforms to share artists’ work with wide audiences. In 2022, Pace Verso established a multifaceted partnership with Art Blocks, the leading generative art platform, encompassing boundary-pushing generative NFT releases by Pace’s artists as well as crypto-native artists, exhibitions, and community programming. In its first year, Pace Verso—which reflects the gallery’s longtime and ongoing support of innovative artists who have cultivated advanced studio practices engaged with boundary-pushing technologies—has presented NFT projects by Jeff Koons, Zhang Huan, Glenn Kaino, DRIFT, Lucas Samaras, and other artists. Pace Verso has also grown a robust following on its dedicated Discord server, directly engaging web3 communities through discussions with artists and leaders in the crypto space.
Digital Practice is an art-focused web3 agency, supporting artists and estates in expanding their oeuvres and preserving their legacies through the translation of authentic artistic practices to the blockchain. Their expertise is in smart contract development, creative coding, generative art, and incorporating digital art into an artist’s more traditional or physical practice. For more information, visit www.digitalpractice.art.