Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Lois Schklar @ Hard Twist 2014

Lois Schklar Hanging On: Balance, 2013; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen 2014
Hanging On: Balance is brilliantly odd and a bit creepy. In a good way. I've long admired Lois Schklar's work, which constantly changes. A few years ago she was creating ethereal drawing/installations that I could not get enough of. When I saw that she was exhibiting at Hard Twist 2014, that is what I was expecting. Nope. Schklar has moved on.
*Days after posting this, I realized that many of the stuffed textile components remind me of arms, legs, and thighs. Then I remembered that early in her career, Schklar made dolls. I never did see her early work, but her mid-career dolls were very abstract and sculptural––absolutely gorgeous.
Lois Schklar Hanging On: Balance detail; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen 2014
The five pieces making up Hanging On: Balance are for sale individually (at $350 each). Several of the pieces appear to include units made with pantyhose (the first, third, and fifth modules).
Lois Schklar Hanging On: Balance detail; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen 2014
I like the fact that I don't know what each component was in a life prior to Schklar's imaginative transformation of it. Mystery is a good thing. My favourite memory of Mrs. Thompson's grade three class was a guessing game where each student had to reach into a cloth bag and blindly identify each object and then record those objects on a list. My classmates and I had a week to feel around the bag and tease out the identity of each shape and the student with the most correct items on the list won a prize. One of the items was a potato that I liked to dig my fingernails into. The pantyhose encrusted objects remind me of that tactile guessing game, except without the potato.
Lois Schklar Hanging On: Balance detail; Photo credit: Karen Thiessen 2014
If my walls weren't already full and I could buy one piece, it would be the fourth, with its expressive coiled wire and the bonus cast shadow. I wonder if Schklar was aware of the gorgeous shadows when she was making this body of work. Sometimes we make things in the studio and then discover more about the work when it is in a gallery hung on clean white walls and lit properly.


Lois Schklar said...

Hi Karen
Thank you very much for your comments on my work at Hard Twist. I just saw this today! Lois

Karen said...

Lois, I've long been a fan of your work and it was a pleasure to see how your work continues to evolve.