In Conversation: Erin Christovale and Sune Woods

As part of Art + Practice’s ongoing public programming about artistic expression and its relevance, Hammer Museum Assistant Curator Erin Chrisotvale discussed cultural production and vulnerabilities with artist Sune Woods. Woods is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work includes video installations, photographs and collages.

In a discussion entitled “Loving Then, Loving Now,” Christovale and Woods reviewed samples of Woods’ art and how it paralleled the A + P exhibition by artist Al Loving, “Spiral Play – Loving in the 80s.” Loving experimented with a variety of materials and processes to expand the definition of modern painting, drawing on everything from experimental jazz to his family quilting tradition. Loving broke free of the flat image, using heavy rag paper to make three-dimensional collages in brilliant colors. His work was known partly for his use of spirals as a symbol of life’s continuity.

A video of iconic images and comments from leading figures in the 60s, 70s and 80s provided context for the discussion on Al Loving’s artistic influences. Loving was the first African American artist to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum in 1969. His early paintings were studies in pure geometric form, often depicting arrangements of cubes. His later work was much more fluid, multi-layered compositions that included heavy construction paper that had been painted with bright acrylics into circles, whorls and ribbons. “I chose the spiral as a symbol of life’s continuity. It became an overall wish for everyone,” said Loving in an interview about his work.

Woods, like Loving, also uses multi-layered compilations in her art. “Collage seemed the best way for me to articulate all the complicated sensations that were arising for me,” said Woods. “I desire to understand more deeply how seemingly disparate things relate when they are mashed up in a visual conversation.”

Photo Credit: Jules Credit