Anat Ebgi is pleased to present Double Blind, the gallery’s second solo exhibition with Margo Wolowiec, on view January 30 through March 12, 2016. Wolowiec’s newest series of work expands upon her distinct woven practice with three new freestanding sculptures grounded by a large double-paneled wall work.
In this body of work, Wolowiec continues her examination of digitally sourced images while presenting the viewer with a conflicted field of doubles. An automated algorithm triggered by various ‘trending’ hashtags yield colorful, suggestive imagery. The images are abstracted through the artist’s process of dye sublimation transfer onto polymer threads and weaving them together on a handloom. Like a double blind procedure in which neither the subjects nor those administering the experiment know what is at stake, Wolowiec’s practice mixes chance and intention. The exhibition’s title also references the way visual stimuli are translated into meaningful information, distorted, or forgotten. The proliferation of images and visual trends in social media and net culture serve as a point of contestation for Wolowiec, who sees social media platforms as conflicted systems that entangle the personal and private with the corporate. Wolowiec manipulates the sourced representations of femininity culled from individual profiles as well as from advertisements and magazines, creating a strained duality between the two.
Wolowiec’s gridded compositions make use of the internet’s predominantly rectangular image format as well as weaving’s inherent checkered logic. The role of the artist’s hand in abstracting this grid, while borrowing techniques from painting and photography, represents a challenge to both. In both her wall works and her freestanding woven pieces, distinct lines are blurred and images misaligned. Woven fabric can be viewed from the front and the back, while transparency in the weave allows both sides to merge into a whole. Images repeat from one work to the next in varying degrees of legibility, akin to repetitive advertisements that have been absorbed into the subconscious realm. Subtle, surprise elements woven into the fabric further contribute to the sculptural dimension of the freestanding works.
The freestanding pieces in this exhibition mark a continued foray into the territory of sculpture, pairing architectural steel with woven panels. Referencing the dimensions of a doorframe, these new works signify transition and multiple dualities—in/out, seen/unseen—indicating an exploration of the threshold as a space for transformation.
Margo Wolowiec (b.1985) received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and institutions including Lisa Cooley, New York, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, and the Di Rosa Foundation, Napa, CA, among others. Her work is in the collections of the Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, CA, and the Detroit Center for Photography, Frame/s, Digital Gallery of Lens Based Media. She has lectured at Maryland Institute College of the Arts, Baltimore, and San Francisco State University, San Francisco. Wolowiec lives and works in New York.