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future greAts
Anna Sew Hoy by Holly Myers
Among the many young artists engaged in what you might call the What unites these disparate works, above all, is an exceptional
everything-but-the-kitchen-sink vein of sculpture so prevalent in Los sensitivity to form and texture. Convoluted skeins of glazed clay; taut
Angeles today – sculpture that exploits the breakdown of media ropes and dangling chains; twisted swathes of denim, terry cloth, cotton or
specificity, making copious use of found objects and banal industrial wool; bulbous mounds of foam; twisted aluminium; perfume bottles,
materials – New Zealand-born, LA-based artist Anna Sew Hoy is a clear charms, crystals and other trinkets – Sew Hoy winds these discordant
standout, exemplifying this nascent tradition’s freewheeling range of materials into patiently crafted, dazzlingly intricate visual puzzles that call
possibility without sacrificing the rigour and resonance of a traditionally to mind the likes of Eva Hesse and Lee Bontecou. Each is an engrossing
crafted object. The distinction may not immediately be apparent. Indeed, study in contrasts: organic and synthetic, glossy and matt, heavy and light,
so varied is her output that it takes a couple of exhibitions just to figure out hard and pliant, clumsy and delicate, spontaneous and calculated, reckless
what she’s up to. Her recent solo show at Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, for and disciplined. An affinity for culturally totemic forms, meanwhile –
instance, involved a sprawling squidlike form made from stuffed scraps of medallions or shields, dreamcatchers, tumbleweeds, wooden rods or staffs,
denim jeans and a series of wall-mounted clay medallions so roughly hewn Chinese scholars’ rocks – lends the work a sense of historical, even spiritual
as to look almost primitive, and strung like totems with bits of jewellery and grounding. The result is a rare and enchanting sort of potency that leaves
cloth. The selection of works that appeared in the UCLA Hammer one eagerly anticipating the artist’s future developments.
Museum’s Eden’s Edge: Fifteen LA Artists last summer included a
tumbleweed made from Sapporo beer cans and an almost gaudy
selection of dreamcatchers: hollow spheres of glazed clay adorned with
chains, bits of rope, beads, feathers and bottle caps. Another group show –
Without Sun, at Christopher Grimes Gallery and Chung King Project –
from left: Two Eyes, 2007, glazed ceramic, chain, denim, resin and
involved a tree trunk wound in sweaters and perfume bottles, and a bicycle screw, 191 x 43 x 13 cm, photo: artist; Eden’s Edge: Fifteen LA Artists,
consumed in polyurethane foam. Over the last several years, Sew Hoy has
2007 (installation view), photo: Joshua White. facing page:
Violetnoir, 2004, photo: artist. All works: courtesy the artist and
also made drawings, jewellery, clothing and books. Karyn Lovegrove, Los Angeles
Artreview 102
FUTURE~1.INDD 102 11/2/08 12:40:28
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